From:
Thamizhaga Vivasaya Sangam, Erode District
Reg.No. 6/91 (non-partisan)
Erode
Ph: 2264105

To:
Hon’ble P.Chidambaram
Finance Minister
Government of India

Sir,

You may be aware that the incorrect policy of the central government of importing palm oil has resulted in many peasants becoming bankrupt and committing suicide.

This year, peasants in the lower Bhavani canal area in Tamil Nadu raised paddy, having been fortunate to get some irrigation water. But, the price of paddy plummeted in the market. The selling price does not even meet the cost of inputs, leave alone our labour. In the second phase canal area, the peasants sowed gingelly, groundnut, sunflower and tapioca. Because of the import policy of the government, the prices of these commodities also fell down. The price we get for coconuts has also reduced considerably. Even farms having more than 100 trees are facing losses of thousands of rupees. Therefore, we demand that in the current cropping season, the government should increase the subsidy for drip irrigation from 25% to 40%. With this we can grow crops with less water consumption and reduce our costs.

In countries such as Brazil, upto 50% ethanol is allowed in petroleum. This reduces pollution. If this is allowed, sugarcane peasants can at least meet their expenses since the price of petrol will reduce. This will also lead to a saving in foreign exchange.

The cotton peasants are also not getting remunerative prices for their produce. Whatever be the crop that peasants grow, ultimately they face nothing but losses. The main reason for this is the anti-peasant import policy of the central government.

In Erode district, even tobacco peasants have lost crores of rupees and the stocks are lying unsold with them.

Neither the ruling party, whose members got elected through peasant votes, nor the opposition party seem to be even a wee bit concerned about peasants.

We demand immediate action to provide remunerative prices and a dignified life for peasants. Otherwise, history will only repeat itself in the next election.

Signed

K.P.Sengodu, Secretary
E.R.Kumaraswamy, Presiden

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