Skip to main content

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*

The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.
The Modi government has reduced corporate income tax from 30 to 22 percent starting from the financial year 2019/20. It has also provided many other opportunities and incentives and foregoing exemptions to corporations. The new corporates established in India after October 1, 2019 will only pay 15 percent.
The Modi government further pursuing economic and agricultural policies to further marginalised the poor farmers and empower the wallet of his Hindutva capitalist cronies by reforming agricultural policies to dismantle all safety nets. Modi government follows the policy prescriptions of his Washington masters in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Executive Board of the IMF concluded its consultation with the Government of India on 25th of November 2019 and released its Country Report No. 19/385 in December 2019. The report openly acknowledges deletion of market sensitive information and policy intentions as part of the half-baked IMF’s transparency policy.
However, this country report reveals the policy prescriptions for the deepening of market forces in Indian economy. The IMF advocates and encourages the Government of India to reduce corporate income tax and implement both land agricultural reform for further trade and investment liberalisation. It further prescribed to increase and integrate wholesale agriculture markets for the expansion of agricultural exports.
The New Agriculture Export Policy (2018) as designed by the Modi government as prescribed by the IMF aims to double agricultural exports to US$ 60 bn by 2022. The IMF further argues that the slow progress in reforming labour, land, and agriculture are creating setbacks in the structural reform process for economic growth and investment.
The strengthening of business climate is the central objective of IMF and the Modi government. In order to achieve these goals, the Modi-led BJP government has approved the Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund of INR 20 billion to be used for development and up-gradation of infrastructure in 10,000 rural agricultural markets and 585 regulated wholesale markets.
It is within this context, the launch of the Adani Agri Logistics is not accidental but a systematic business initiative for procurement, storage, transportation and distribution of food in India. The Adani Agri Logistics is going to develop monopoly over food market.
The corporatisation of agriculture and marketisation of food security is going to accelerate hunger and starvation deaths. It will destroy and pave the path for the privatisation of Food Corporation of India. The corporate takeover of the Food Corporation of India is going to be socially and economically disastrous for India and Indians. The Modi government is implementing three dangerous agricultural policy reforms prescribed by the IMF. These policies are concomitant with the requirements of market forces.
The agricultural reforms policies under the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 are associated with three acts: 
  1. the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 
  2. the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; and 
  3. the Essential Commodities Amendment Act. 
These policies are going to destroy farmers freedom to produce and diminish the security of their products and livelihoods. It is a death warrant against agricultural communities and farmers in India.
The corporate takeover of Indian agriculture and growth of contract farming will accelerate agricultural capitalism in which corporates will command production, consumption and distribution, and control the lives of 60 percent of Indian population who are engaged in agricultural activities. Agriculture is the source of livelihood for 494.9 million landless Indians and 263 million Indians depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their everyday survival.
The Modi government is accelerating agrarian crisis to create business opportunities for the corporations. The agrarian crisis and food insecurities in India move together. The food self-sufficiency, required agricultural production for buffer stocks and accessibility of food for all in India should not just be a dream but a reality given the availability of agricultural technology, land and labour.
But unfortunately, successive governments are dismantling every social and economic safety nets designed after Indian independence. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is not an insurance for farmers but an income source for private insurance companies in India. This policy will ensure farmers in debt trap in the name if improved flow of credit.
On the other hand, the PM Kisan Pension Yojana for small and marginal farmers is a way to consolidate small saving of poor, small and marginal farmers for corporate investment. These policies are detrimental to Indian economy and its people.
India has followed an integrated approach to agricultural economy and food security policy after independence. Production, availability and accessibility of food for all were the objectives of the integrated policy. The objective was to provide minimum support price to farmers and inspire them to produce food for food security of the country.
The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) was established to procure the products and safeguard farmers from the market and maintain price stability to access food for survival. The public distribution system was developed to ensure food security by distribution of food and rationing during food crisis. The Food Corporation of India was integrated within such an integral policy framework to provide buffer stocks to face situations of scarcities caused by natural calamities or war.
From food to fashion, the market has always failed to develop a mechanism of egalitarian distribution. The markets only work towards the concentration of wealth in the hands of few and marginalise the masses.
The successive governments led by the Congress Party have destroyed the integrated policy approach to agriculture and food security in India. The Universal Public Distribution System was dismantled by the Congress governments by reforming it as Revamped Public Distribution System and Targeted Public Distribution System.
These reforms have destroyed integrated and universalistic characteristics of the agricultural and food security policy to allow market forces to grow during half-hearted liberalisation during 1980s and full-fledged liberalisation and privatisation after the 1991 new economic reforms.
The BJP and RSS used to oppose these reform policies during those days in the name of nationalism. But RSS and BJP stand today on the foundations of reform policies created and shaped by the Congress party. There is no difference between Congress Party and BJP when it comes to economic policies. Both uphold the interests of the corporations.
From food to fashion, the market has always failed to develop a mechanism of egalitarian distribution. It only work towards the concentration of wealth in the hands of few
The ruling and capitalist class strategy is to expand consumerism and market of food in a massive scale as a result of which masses will continue to seek work for food. Such a feudal approach of Hindutva capitalism is suitable for political dominance of BJP, social and cultural hegemony of RSS, and economic dominance of corporates over Indian people and their resources.
The food insecure and unemployed Indians will always be available as a massive army of low waged labourers for Indian and global capitalist class to amass their profit by inflicting mass misery. The agricultural reforms will accelerate corporatisation of agriculture and create conditions where farmers will be slaves in their own land.
The landless farmers and agricultural workers will be low waged workers. Mass misery, hunger and unemployment are going to be three net outcomes of these policies while pushing India and Indians to live under corporate feudalism. The long-term outcomes of these reform policies are going to be more dangerous. Long term food insecurity and unemployment creates conditions for slave society.
The ruling and non-ruling elites in India have found their poster boy in Modi and ideological brotherhood with the BJP and RSS to pursue their hegemony. The IMF argument behind the productivity of agriculture and empowerment of farmers is dubious. These agricultural reform policies are not going to increase productivity in Indian agriculture and farmers are not going to be prosperous.
The capitalism as a system is always against productivity and mass prosperity. Economic productivity of labour has increased with the growth of science and technology, but mass prosperity did not grow. Like the rest of the world, India is witnessing concentration of wealth and marginalisation of masses and their everyday life.
David Graeber
As Prof David Graeber has argued, “the ruling class has figured out that a happy and productive population with free time on their hands is a mortal danger” to their command and controlled system of hegemony called free market capitalism. It is clear that Indian billionaires and their Brahminical social and economic order find its safety net under the leadership of Modi.
The western capitalist systems were evolved over centuries of trial and error, but Indian capitalism has built by its consciously designed foundation of caste based Brahminical order. The ruinous economic policies, social disability and political stability are three weapons of Indian ruling and non-ruling class led by Modi. It is important to see the agricultural reform policies within these strategies of corporate cronies of Hindutva government led by Modi.
The farmers’ movement against the agricultural reform policies of Modi government gives new hopes deepening of democracy for a better India. It has exposed the corporate character of Modi government. It has dismantled the hegemonic narrative of neoliberal governance by the BJP and RSS.
The mainstream media and all the hypocritic propaganda of BJP and RSS have failed to hide the authoritarian nakedness of Modi government and all its failures. The united working-class movement in support of Indian farmers can only save India and Indians from medieval forces of Hindutva. The bigotry of BJP and RSS can never be an alternative. These forces can never provide a peaceful and prosperous India to Indians. India needs a second wave of freedom struggle against caste, capitalism and Hindutva to ensure liberty, equality, justice, secularism, socialism and democracy enshrined in the Constitution of India. 
It is the duty of every Indian to rebuild their country by defeating Hindutva forces and their corporate cronies. The secular and democratic struggles are only path in history for a peaceful and prosperous future for India and Indians.
---
*University of Glasgow, UK

Comments

samir sardana said…
The Sikh Farmers have been conned,by the Brahmin/Bania vermins,of the GOI - just like their "Gurus" were conned by the Brahmin/Banias,500 years ago - to wage war,against the Mughals.

It took the Sikhs 73 years to awaken,and it is too late,as they have still NOT raised,the key issues.dindooohindoo

The Indian Con Job

The GOI claims to have a MSP - a Minimum Support Price,for just 2 crops,in some states of India - with no minimum offtake per farmer,and with a cap,on the overall value,of procurement.This has been on for 73 years.

In the early years,India had a food shortage - and so,the con workked.Then the surpluses began !

The aim of the GOI was to PUSH the farmers to OVERPRODUCE,with 3 benefits for the GOI and their cohorts

Sufficient Foodgrain Reserves

Sufficient foodgrains for PDS

Excess supply pressures on price reductions and reducing the bargaining capacity of farmers - which is ONLY to help the agri value chain

So if the farmers were to boycott farming,for 6 months,Global corn and wheat rates in CBOT will double,and the GOI will TRIPLE the MSP ! By overproducing,the farmers are only KILLING themselves - as higher stocks,no storage,interest on loans and poor quality etc.,increases the pressure on the farmers,to liquidate stocks and accept the quality grading system of the arhatiyas.

When a state in India has a AGRI shortfall it raises the MSP (As there is not enough procurement),and when farmers from o/s states come to dump their wheat - the state refuses.The local farmers see the current MSP and then,overproduce in the next year - and then,the MSP is lowered by the State ! This comedy has been on,for decades.

In essence,India is a bankrupt nation and cannot do 100% purchases of EVEN 1 crop on MSP,in EVEN 1 state of India.

Such a simple fact - and the Sikhs COULD NOT understand this for 73 years ? This requires NOT intelligence or intellect.If the Sikhs were TRUE followers of Nanak,they would have known this 400 years ago.There is just NO MONEY !

The FCI Con Job

No one knows what stock FCI is holding ! There are 2 types of stocks with FCI.1 is in FCI godowns and the 2nd is in the stomach of rodents (who are also stored in FCI godowns - as permanent residents).If all goes well,2 rats can produce 1000 rats in 30 days.But the genius of the GOI is infinite - as it plans to export rat meat - and so,it is a form of integrated storage - from integrated farming to integrated storage !

No one knows the proximate quantity and quality of FCI Stocks - except the rats in the FCI godowns.

So the so called prime wheat purchases by arhatiyas,is diverted to the private market and the spurious and lower grade wheat is sold to FCi as prime.The sales to the private sector is at a premium (by the arhatiyas)

Similarly,when the PDS stocks reach the POS storage yards,the prime wheat is diverted to the private market and the 2nd grade wheat is procured from the arhatiyas and fed to the poor.It is said that the rats in the FCI godowns eat the BEST wheat and so,the Indian poor eat a grade lower than rats - but they are happy that they are getting anything at all.Perhaps it is time to feed Indians - rat meat.

The Quality Con Job

The poor farmers with a debt load are ripped off by the arhatiyas - in the grading system - to sell prime as offgrades.This rip off,is then,in part,transferred to the rich farmers whose offgrades are bought as prime,and the rest of the offgrades are palmed off to the FCI as prime or sold in the private markets.It is a single digit % of the FCI stocks and aggregate purchase,and the GOI neither the means nor the IQ to track it - but it is in the Billions of USD.

The Justification of the FCI Con Job

The GOI approves of this rip off as they say that economic value addition by the private sector is better than rats eating wheat and rice in FCI Godowns.And the tragedy is that they are right.

Therefore rats in FCI godowns are better off than Indian farmers and Indisn consumers of wheat
samir sardana said…
Part 2

The failure of "India"

India is a failed experiment.The Constitutional structure of India is being dismantled.The states have failed miserably on all counts.GST is proof of the fact that the GOI has reckoned after 73 years,that Indian states CANNOT manage their finances and their economies.

Draconian Indian Terror laws and census laws is proof that the entire legal and judicial architecture of India is obsolete

India is obsolete

The Solution

The Sikhs are juveniles and fools.Their future lies in Khalistan.India is a failed state.There are only 2 paths for India

1.Partition

2.Destruction of India and then Partition between Pakistan,China.Lanka,Kashmir,Bangladesh,Khalistan,Dalitistan,Dravidian state and a Muslim state

Other than a call to arms,if the Sikhs REALLY want to make the GOI - procure on MSP and withdraw the bills,they have to BOYCOTT farming for 6 months.In other words,they need to farm ONLY FOR SELF CONSUMPTION.No sales to the State or the private traders.Thereafer the Farm organisations in USA/Canada and UK can build positions on CBOT.That will offset the agri income loss for the striking farmers

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen