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Farmers-workers meet calls for action against GoI's 'aggressive' pro-corporate policies

By Our Representative 

The All India Joint Convention of Workers and Farmers, held at the Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi, has sharply criticised the Government of India (GoI) for creating "alarming situation" by pursuing "aggressive pro-corporate policies" since 2014, insisting, "Anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people, and anti-national policies have resulted in disastrous consequences for the economy, unity, and integrity of the nation."
Organised by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, representing farmers and workers from across the nation, the convention highlighted the agricultural crisis in India due to "pro-corporate and anti-farmer policies of the Union government, which has resulted in falling incomes and rising indebtedness and suicides among the farmers."
A communique issued following the meet said, the convention "recognized the historic 13-month long struggle led by Samyukta Kisan Morcha against the three farm laws, which demonstrated the farmer's resolve against adversity, including oppression, abuses, harsh weather, and the Covid pandemic. It noted that "despite written assurances, the Union government has failed to honour commitments made to the farmers regarding Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill."
The communique continued, "The convention also raised the challenges faced by the workers and labourers, with rising unemployment, declining job security, and increasing prices of essential goods. The erosion of workers' rights through the new labour codes, and the deteriorating condition of agricultural and migrant workers, who lack social security and are pushed into poverty, was also highlighted."
Strongly condemning the government's "privatization policies, impacting sectors from public sector enterprises to education, and banking", the communique said, "The tax cuts and loan waivers given to corporates while burdening common citizens with higher taxes and reduced social welfare benefits was raised. The erosion of the federal structure of the nation, divisive communal policies, and attempts to stifle dissent were denounced."
Recognizing the "success" of joint struggles such as the farmers' movement, the united actions of electricity employees, and workers protests in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Central Electronics Limited, and steel plants, it asserted, "The convention called for heightened coordination to challenge the anti-worker and anti-farmer policies", even as formulating of a charter of demands.
The demands encompassed issues such as implementation of written assurances made by the Union government, including legal guarantee of MSP; withdrawal of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and establishing a comprehensive Public Sector Crop Insurance Scheme for all crops; a comprehensive farm loan waiver; control on price rise and removal of GST on essential items; guaranteed food security; introduction of  a national minimum wage; a comprehensive social security for all workers; taxing the super rich; enhancing corporate tax; and re-introducing wealth tax and succession tax.
At the same time, the communique said, the convention called for nationwide action, including observing the 3rd of October as a Black Day to remember the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre of farmers in 2021 and organizing a Mahapadav in front of Raj Bhawan in every state capital from 26th to 28th November.

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