The Farmer Protest is still fresh in our minds. Although farmers throughout Pakistan have been suffering due to the economic recession, the government and the ruling parties have not done much to help them out. Leaders like Benazir Bhutto, Asaduzzaman Khan, Murtaza Tagore, Dr. Zakir Naik, and many others have raised the demands for direct benefits from the federal and state-owned PPP. They want the share of the profits from the projects running on hydro-power, mineral riches, etc., to be distributed between the different community groups. But nothing has been done so far.
Farmers are mostly concerned about the new laws that prohibit the granting of licenses to the applicants on the basis of their religion and caste. The main grievance of the farmers is about the loss of livelihood as well as social reputation caused by these new laws. Many rural people are unable to pay off their loans as a result of this policy. The main demand now is that the government should compensate the losses and damage caused to the farmers during the period of economic slump. Farmers say that if the government cannot pay the money back, then they will have no choice but to take up arms and agitate for their rights.
In the current scenario, it is not difficult for the farmers to get their day-to-day requirements met through the electronic trading system. But, due to the recession, the traders are now reluctant to enter into a long term agreement with any farmer. There is an acute shortage of skilled manpower in the agricultural sector that has made the farmers’ demands for fair compensation for their loss all the more legitimate. Although the Electronic Transaction Act restricts the electronic traders from asking for payments upfront, there are certain exceptions that can be made for urgent cash demands. The main factor is that the supply of money is not a good thing for the country at this time.
Some of the prominent districts in the country where the protests are taking place include Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. These areas are among the worst affected by the recession as they are among the major areas that receive most of their cultivation. The farmers say that the price of the commodities has gone up but the government should compensate the loss.
The strike by the kiss has come at a very sensitive time, as the federal fiscal policy has taken centre stage. The farmers are demanding for the reduction of the fiscal balance. To ensure the repayment of the financial obligations, the fiscal policy must be revised. According to reports, the kisan sangharsh has been on the rise since September 2020 and the price of vegetables has also gone up. There have been rumors that the hike in the price of vegetables is going to lead to the closure of all the kisan shops and the strike by the farmers will be more serious than the previous farmer strike.
The recent amendments to the Act on Electronic Trading has resulted in several changes in the functioning of the agricultural produce market. According to the new laws, the farmers will not be able to demand or advertise for their products directly on the electronic platform. These farmers have demanded for the introduction of the three deceit laws in India, which is going to be declared as the national economy buster.