Farmers across India will protest outside FCI offices on Monday, says Samyukt Kisan Morcha
- “Tomorrow, on April 5, farmers will protest in front of FCI offices across the country by gherao. Marking this day as FCI Bachao Divas,” said SKM
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Sunday said that protests will be held by farmers in front of Food Corporation of India (FCI) offices across the country on April 5, which the group said it will mark as ‘FCI Bachao Divas’.
“Tomorrow, on April 5, farmers will protest in front of FCI offices across the country by gherao. Marking this day as FCI Bachao Divas,” news agency ANI quoted a statement from SKM.
“A memorandum letter will be given in the name of the Minister of Consumer Affairs,” the statement added.
On March 11, FCI sent a proposal to the government recommending tighter quality controls for the procurement of wheat and paddy. For wheat, a reduction in moisture level from 14% to 12% was proposed, along with a reduction in procurement of damaged grain from the existing 4% to 2%. For paddy, stricter quality control measures like reducing the permissible limit of foreign material in grains from 2% to 1% have also been proposed.
Congress Member of Parliament Pratap Singh Bajwa strongly opposed the new recommendations in Parliament during the budget session. He contended that presence of foreign materials and moisture content in food grains is weather related, and farmers cannot be penalised for it since global warming is not in their hands, reported news agency PTI.
SKM told PTI on March 19 that protests were held across mandis in the country over these new procurement norms.
"In addition to being unresponsive to protesting farmers' legitimate demands, the Government of India's Food Corporation of India has brought in new quality specifications and procurement norms in a direct attack on the procurement regime and the ongoing protests,” the morcha said.