Activists of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) staged a protest in the city on Wednesday, condemning the delay in payment of money to farmers towards food grains procured from them under Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Addressing the protest meet, H.R. Basavarajappa, Working President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha said that the government owed an amount of Rs. 31 crore to the farmers. This was for the paddy and ragi it had purchased from them, through procurement centres in the district, at MSP in the months of February and March.
Mr. Basavarajappa said that owing to the delay, the farmers were finding it difficult to repay their bank loans and to purchase inputs including fertilizer and seeds for fresh sowing. He alleged that, the officials at the procurement centres were also not responding properly to the farmers’ queries on clearance of the due amount.
The farmers carry the produce to the procurement centres in gunny bags. Earlier, the government used to pay Rs. 20 towards each gunny bag. It is unfortunate that, the payment for the bags has been stopped this year, he said.
The protesters also demanded that the government address the farmers’ complaints with regard to discrepancies in weighing the produce at the procurement centre. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the office of Deputy Commissioner in this regard.
The KRRS activists also condemned the establishment of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) by the State government. They said that, as the ACB did not enjoy autonomy, it cannot tackle corruption in an efficient manner. They pressed the government to take measures to strengthen the Lokayukta.
Functionaries of KRRS E.B. Jagadeesh, Hittur Raju, S. Shivamurthy, T.M. Chandrappa and K. Raghavendra took part in the protest.
KRRS activists also condemned the establishment of Anti-Corruption Bureau by the State government