Thank you very much for carrying the article entitled ‘Announcement of PM-AASHA scheme for peasantry: Aimed at deceiving the peasantry and enriching capitalist traders’ carried in the October 1-15, 2018 issue of MEL. The issue of the relationship between the peasantry and the working class on the one hand, and the peasantry in capitalist economy is one of the important questions facing the movement. There is plenty of room for disorientation and confusion when confronting these questions and hence clarifying the issue is important.
The crucial point is that the peasantry has a long standing demand of the guarantee for their produce yielding 1.5 times the cost price and mechanisms for ensuring this. This demand has never been met, and at the present juncture, the Government has come up with a new scheme with the pretentious title of the Prime Minister’s Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan, whereby it is claimed that the procurement will be at remunerative prices. As in the past, there are no enabling mechanisms to provide even the Minimum Support Price for most of the crops. Another dimension to the scheme was the Price Deficiency Payment Scheme which also turned out to be fraudulent in practice. The holes in the scheme even led to distress sales causing further bankruptcy to already starving peasants.
Yet another dimension was the Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme for oilseeds, which in practice was to bring in private players into this lucratice scheme. Thus, it may be seen from the brief recap of the points in the article mentioned above that every scheme of the Government is only an eyewash and yet another effort to defraud the farmers, indeed those who produce the food that we all eat.
Matters being such as they are, it is important for the peasantry and their leadership to realize that the method of trying to alleviate their pain is only a way of opening the doors to profitable sectors to more private players, and will not solve their problems in any way. The struggle to ensure the 1.5 times the cost price must continue unabated and not be stalled by bogus schemes announced by the Government.