Left-oriented bodies on Sunday demanded regularising encroachments on forest and other government land by small and marginal farmers across the state.
The left-backed organisations that came out with 18-point demand charter opined the nuclear families were responsible for decrease in landholding.
“Due to fragmentation of families, landholding is decreasing and the government should regularise encroachments of small farmers on forest or other government land,” said Himachal Kisan Sabha president Kuldeep Singh Tanwar in a press conference here on Sunday.
Further clarifying, Tanwar emphasised that the government should only regularise encroachments on land that comprises 25 bighas of total holdings, including the encroached land.
Blaming the government for inflating prices of vegetables, he said, “The government has no control on the local market. Vegetables which are being sold by farmer at a cost of Rs 8 or Rs 9 cost for Rs 30 in the retail market.”
He said apple prices were slashed this year because of the government's negative approach towards the horticulture sector.
He also demanded continuation of import duty on apple after 2014 also. “After the WTO agreement of free trade, import duty on apple will be abolished that will hamper apple economy of the state,” added Tanwar.
Raising a question on the survey conducted by the forest department that indicated decline in monkey population, he said HKS was ready to conduct a survey with the government to find the actual population of monkeys.
He said the government was planning to plant fruit bearing trees in forest areas to curb monkey menace which was not a practical solution. “Where will monkey go in off-season, of course farmers will be their target,” he added.
Meanwhile, raising the issue of minimum wages, CITU state president Jagat Ram demanded minimum wages to increase up to Rs 10,000 per month.
“As inflation goes up, wages of these workers should be increased,” he said, adding that the government should frame a policy to revise wages according to price index.
He also demanded mid-day meal, anganwari and part-time workers to consider as government servants.
Joint platform of mass organisation was comprised of HKS, Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), All-India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Student federation of India (SFI).
Accusing the government of implementing anti-people policies, left oriented organisations would organise a rally in ice skating rink in Shimla on Tuesday.