New Delhi: Farmers' body ICCFM Thursday said political parties should include various demands, such as Rs 5,000 monthly pension and an additional income support under the PM-Kisan scheme, in their election manifestos.
The All India Coordination Committee of Farmers' Movement (ICCFM) also demanded that family members of the farmers who committed suicide should be rehabilitated and at least one family member should be given a government job.
The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held in seven phases starting from April 11. The Model Code of Conduct has already kicked in and the political parties are busy finalising candidates and the election manifestos.
The ICCFM comprises major farmer bodies such as such as Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam (TVS) and Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha (AGM).
"We have 18 key demands and we want all the political parties to include in their election manifestos with clear mandate of timeline when they would implement," Yudhvir Singh of ICCFM told reporters.
He said the direct income support of Rs 6,000 per hectare (comprising 2.5 acres) being offered in three instalments in a year to small and marginal farmers under the PM-Kisan scheme is insufficient and does not cover everyone.
"We want the government to give an additional income support of Rs 10,000 per acre per year per farmer to all farmers across the country," Singh told reporters.
Small and marginal farmers should also be given a pension of at least Rs 5,000 per month after the age of 60, he added.
Among other demands, ICCFM wants the government to fix minimum support price (MSP) based on the formula suggested in the Swaminathan report to ensure 50 per cent profit over the cost of the production.
It should be ensured that the crops should not be purchased below MSP under any condition. There should be a provision of penalty if this is not followed by the agriculture mandi, it said, adding that there should also be a guarantee from the government for 100 per cent procurement of all crops.
On crop loan, the farmers' body said there should be an "unconditional" waiver of all types of loans of all farmers, including tenant ones.
"Nearly 80 per cent of loans to the farmers is from the nationalised banks. All types of loans to the farmers (nationalised banks/cooperative banks) should be waived, within 6 months of coming into power," it noted.
ICCFM demanded tweaking of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY) to ensure the entire premium is paid by the government, payment of sugarcane arrears,
free electricity for irrigation via tube wells, specific social security scheme, and linking of MGNREGA to agriculture.
Among others, the ICCFM demanded zero goods and services tax on all equipment used in agriculture, detailed action plan for protection from wild and stray animals, non-eviction of indigenous people and forest dwellers, and keeping agriculture out of WTO.
It also demanded a white paper on all the free-trade agreements signed by India and how it has performed, special session in Parliament on agricultural issues and lift ban on diesel vehicles older than 10 years used in agriculture.