Post: Chhattisgarh: Economy on ventilator and people ‘Ram Naam Sat’

Chhattisgarh: Economy on ventilator and people ‘Ram Naam Sat’

Article : Sanjay पराते

News Desk, Chhatisgarh State

– Amit Lekh

Raipur. It is clear from the economic survey presented in the Chhattisgarh Assembly on February 8 that the agricultural crisis in the state is deepening and economic inequality is increasing. Not only has the growth rate in the industry and service sectors declined compared to the national average, but the growth rate in all three sectors including agriculture in the state has also declined compared to the previous year 2022-23.

Foto By : Kisan Maha Sabha

Last year the agricultural growth rate was 4.33%, which has fallen by more than a quarter this year to 3.23%. 70% of the state’s population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities, but the contribution of this sector in the economy is only 15.32%. This reveals the plight of the agricultural economy and farmers and the decreasing purchasing power, which is being reflected in the increasing farmer suicides in the state. According to the survey, the average per capita income in the state has increased from Rs 1,38,898 last year to Rs 1,47,361 this year. Despite this, the income of the majority of the working people in the state has declined and the increase in per capita income has remained imprisoned in the coffers of the corporates. The Modi government at the Center is more responsible for this plight of the state than the previous Congress government, which puts pressure on the state governments to implement the policies of corporate plunder of the natural resources of the state. The only way to overcome this crisis was to increase public investment in agriculture and rural development, free farmers from bank and moneylender loans, and give them a support price of one and a half times the C-2 cost of the crop and working days and wage rates in MNREGA would have been increased. But no such steps have been taken in the budget presented on February 9. For example, in the name of employment in rural areas (there is no mention of MNREGA in the entire budget document and this is an indication of what the fate of this scheme is going to be in the state in the coming days!) Rs 2887 crore was allocated. Due to which, on an average, only 32 days of employment will be generated per family per year in rural areas, whereas MNREGA guarantees a minimum of 100 days of employment based on demand. Due to the new rules made for getting employment in MNREGA, 17 lakh rural families of the state have been deprived of the eligibility for employment in MNREGA, despite having registration cards. Similarly, the amount of Rs 10,000 crore allocated under Krishi Unnati Yojana will be able to compensate for the price difference of purchasing only 100 lakh tonnes of paddy, whereas this year itself 145 lakh tonnes of paddy has been purchased. According to government records, a provision of at least Rs 18,000 crore should have been allocated for this head. Anyway, the BJP central government is against giving bonus or input subsidy to farmers. In the state, 26.85 lakh paddy producing farmers had registered 33.51 lakh hectare area, but only 24.72 lakh farmers have been able to sell 145 lakh tonnes of paddy from 27.92 lakh hectare area. In the additional four days of February, 19,000 farmers have sold 2.69 lakh tonnes of paddy. Thus, paddy produced by 2.13 lakh farmers in 5.59 lakh hectare area remains unsold. At 21 quintals per acre and also taking into account the average of paddy sold in the last four days, about 30 lakh tonnes of paddy remains unsold and this is 17% of the total paddy production of Chhattisgarh. At the price payable by the state government, it is worth Rs 9300 crore. The sale of paddy has reduced significantly in 10 districts of the state — Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Sukma, Marwahi, Manpur, Balrampur, Koriya and Manendragarh. Only 9% of the total purchase made so far have been procured from these tribal districts. It is clear from this that most of those who are deprived of selling paddy in the society are marginal and small farmers and the majority of them are farmers belonging to the tribal-dalit community. Due to closure of government procurement, these small farmers will now be forced to sell their crops in the open market at throwaway prices. Same is the case with the scheme to provide assistance of Rs 10,000 per year to landless agricultural labourers. There are 6.5 lakh families of agricultural laborers in the state, but the budget has been allocated only Rs 500 crore. Due to this, the benefit of this scheme will not reach 30% of agricultural labourers. At the time of assembly elections, a promise of Rs 12000 per year to every married woman was made and it was promoted as a guarantee of Modi. During the elections itself, BJP had launched a campaign to get lakhs of women in the entire state to fill the forms to get this guarantee, which the Election Commission considered a violation of the code of conduct. But after the elections, this has been proved to be a joke. Only Rs 3000 crore has been allocated for the Mahtari Vandan Yojana in the budget and this will help only a maximum of 25 lakh women. Such conditions have been imposed for eligibility in this scheme that most of the women have been left out of the scope of this scheme. The remaining women have been made to stand in the queue again to fill the form. In fact, all the populist announcements made in the budget in the name of Modi Guarantee, their real objective is not to benefit the people, but only to garner electoral benefits. Therefore, such conditions are being imposed in the name of eligibility in these schemes, due to which more and more people are left out of the scope of these schemes. There has been silence on the matter of filling one lakh vacant posts in government departments and loan waiver of farmers. So, instead of expanding the unemployment allowance scheme implemented in a half-way manner by previous Congress Government, the BJP government has announced to end it. Yes, the BJP government has no shortage of money to exploit the religious faith of the people in the name of Ramlala darshan. The budget is completely silent about the corporate looting of the natural resources of this state, but in the name of use of technology, the way for the entry of corporate capital has been opened. Thus, the budget of 2024-25, presented by the BJP government, is a budget of pro-corporate and election slogans wrapped in the dose of nationalism.

The author is the convener of Chhattisgarh Kisan Sabha. Contact: 94242-31650

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