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Modi govt should learn from Europe: Corporate takeover no panacea to agrarian crisis

By Samyukta Kisan Morcha, Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, Independent/ Sectoral Federations, Associations

SKM and Joint Platform of CTU’s extends solidarity to the ongoing farmers' and workers’ struggle in several countries of Europe including France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Belgium, Brussels and Netherlands. Both the platforms support their demands to repeal cuts in subsidies and tax exemptions so far given to the farmers, above inflation pay increase and no cuts in pension of workers in the context of the growing recession and the lingering Russia - Ukraine war.
In the last several months, the farmers and workers of Europe independently as well as in coordination have been on the path of struggle to fight the growing economic burden on agriculture, the declining  income and rate of wage of workers and  the implementation of  anti-farmer, anti-worker policies by the respective national governments in the context of intensifying recession in the world capitalist economy.  The impact of the Russia- Ukraine war affects these economies badly. In order to overcome the crisis, the respective governments are adopting a policy of shifting the economic burden on the shoulders of workers and farmers. Farmers are also facing erratic climatic conditions that adversely affect crop production.
The German government had announced the gradual abolition of diesel subsidies to farmers within three years. The reforms also suggested  abolishing tax exemption on agricultural equipment and vehicles. This angered the farmers and they entered the capital Berlin with their tractors blowing horns. French farmers also blocked highways at many places with their tractors alleging the government is increasing the taxes on agriculture drastically to overcome its financial contraction. The inflation as well as recession affects the cost of living of workers in all sectors since there is no hike in their pay against the growing inflation and the resultant deteriorating working conditions. Cheap imports are being encouraged through endless Free Trade Agreements. The resultant economic hardships force farmers and workers to take to the streets.
SKM and CTU’s strongly urge the Modi Government to learn lessons from the growing discontent among the farming community and workers of European countries and reconsider its pro-corporate policies being intensified in India. SKM has strongly objected to the policy proposed by finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman to permit corporate forces including Trans-National Corporations to take over post harvest operation in agriculture, control and dominate food production and value added consumer product market.  Corporate Agriculture is not a panacea for the agrarian crisis, rather it will further deteriorate the plight of the farmers and workers in India.  
The SKM and the Joint Platform of CTUs, Independent Federations and Associations strongly condemns the move of the various national Governments in Europe  to pass on the burden of the world capitalist crisis and resultant recession created by their corporate policies and the Ukraine war plans onto the farmers and workers.  

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