India should declare financial emergency after amending Articles 21 & 360. By Hem Raj Jain

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Agriculture crisis highlighted by farmer’s agitation is a blessing in disguise to usher India into unprecedented economic progress (ii)- Problems of two thirds of India, neglected for decades, can’t be solved by traditional methods

-- In India the small & marginal land holdings (up to 2 Hectares) are 86.2 % of total land holdings and medium land holdings (from 2 to 4 Hectares) are 13.2 %. The farmer’s agitation in India is about the livelihood of two thirds of India (the farm-laborers + farmers with 145 million land holdings, same number of families whose livelihood is fully or partly dependent on agriculture). Due to nonremunerative prices of agriculture produce, hundreds of thousands of farmers have committed suicide. But majority of these people in the agriculture sector are from oppressed & backward castes of Hindu order (institutionalized by reservation with this demoralizing-tag) hence their problems were neglected for decades (though they have been agitating earlier also in different parts of India in smaller numbers).

This time the farmer’s agitation is attracting the attention of the government & the country because hundreds of thousands of agitating farmers have encircled India’s capital Delhi and they can’t be dispersed because they (from Punjab, Haryana and Western U.P.) are economically better than farmers of rest of India and at the top of it supported by Punjabi (Sikh) farmers through their infrastructure of Gurudwara-langars etc [allegedly supported by money also from foreign countries (including by some Khalistanis through Pakistan too) and opposition parties].

There is a blessing in disguise in this matter. This farmer’s agitation has made one point clear to every one that if the problem of said two thirds of India’s population can be solved by giving remunerative price to agriculture for all the items (presently 23 which can be increased to about 40 if vegetable, fruits etc are also included in MSP - list) then the economy of India will improve immensely because it will boost (through farmers) demands in other sectors of economy namely manufacturing & service sector.

The farmer’s leaders could have helped in solving this problem (by way of bringing economic justice to the majority of Indians engaged in agriculture) but unfortunately they are also not coming forward. They are committing a fundamental mistake, rather they should have kept repeal of 3 farm laws at second priority and kept the legally enforceable ‘Minimum Support Price’ (MSP) at forefront which will, in any way render these farm laws practically meaningless. On the basis of such MSP the farmer’s leaders should have started mobilizing farmers of the entire India in two stages.

First by demonstrations at Tehsil / Taluka, District and State headquarters and then by ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ (fill the prison movement) by farmers and their supporters all across India on the issue of legally enforceable MSP for all items, in which said about two thirds of India have immense interest. But these farmer’s leaders are naively thinking that by giving importance to farmers of merely Punjab, Haryana and Western U.P. (by demanding repeal of farm laws) over concerns of farmers from entire India (legally enforceable MSP) they can get success in this agitation.

Fortunately for India this crisis can easily be resolved, if government of India (GoI): -

(1)- Stops considering food not as any other commodity but an essential commodity for the survival of its about 140 million people (with huge unemployment & under-employment)

(2)- Comes out of the influence of the USA and gives up exclusive private capitalism and instead uses State-capital for the welfare of its people such as its ‘Public Distribution System’ (PDS)

(3)- Adopts a principle that if a person can’t run business properly then how he / she will run the country with the implication that the Ministers heading PDS ministry should run this ministry efficiently and profitably (of-course a very nominal profit).

(4)- Recovers huge State-capital from tax evaders and by forfeiting unconstitutional public debts of Union & State governments which will solve not only this agriculture crisis but all the economical problems of India emanating from the paucity of funds.

(5)- Goes for a comprehensive ‘Public Distribution system’ (PDS) where GoI will have one outlet for every 1,000 people. This will require about 14 Lakh (hundred Thousand)  shops / outlets (owned by the GoI) all over India which will require a commensurate network of godowns, cold storages, purchasing centres, transport facilities etc. This PDS should purchase these 40 items from the farm producers of India  at MSP and rest by imports.

 

(5)- Amends the Constitution which it has numbers to do (if GoI could manage the  numbers of MPs to amend the Constitution regarding Article 370, 35-A of the Constitution about J&K then it can amend the Constitution for addressing the crisis of agriculture also). There is already a provision for financial emergency in India as per Article 360 of the Constitution and during such emergency directions can be given to any State, which are necessary and adequate for the purpose. Under Article 21, no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Both these Articles should be amended. Hence following amendments in constitution should be done:-

(i)- Amend the Article 21 of the Constitution to include ‘Right to Food’ through said comprehensive PDS, in it (ii)- Amend the Article 360 of the Constitution to allow this financial emergency for 5 years (to address the agriculture crisis highlighted by farmer’s agitation) in order to complete the constructions etc of this comprehensive PDS.

(7)- Repeals land ceiling laws with a condition that only farmers will purchase the lands of the farmers in the interest of keeping corporations from acquiring fam lands [small land holdings is the major problem of farm sector because it makes it difficult to adopt modern & mechanized farming).

(8)- Introduces labour laws (above minimum land holding) like minimum wages etc in the agriculture sector.

[India should stop giving immunity to people who are avoiding Income Tax by illegally posing as farmers. Hence India should immediately start recovering Rs about 1,000 Lakh Crore (Trillion) income Tax (45 % of about 2,200 Trillion wrongly claimed as agriculture income) from about 1 million tax-evaders who illegally posed as framers as was discussed in Parliament too in 2016 as reported at https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Prominent-people-hiding-taxable-income-Jaitley/articleshow/51408323.cms 

In addition to said about Rs 1,000 Trillion State-capital,  India should also forfeit public debts of the governments beyond their consolidated funds which is in violation of Article 292 & 293 of the Constitution and which have been incurred by taking excuse of unconstitutional FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act].

PM Modi, despite his projected-image of a leader not susceptible to undesirable pressure / influence, has not been able to muster political courage to recover said huge State-capital from tax evaders and other influential people. This financial emergency will help him in recovering this huge State - capital which will usher India into unprecedented economic progress.

It is hoped that the government of India will declare financial emergency (after getting Articles 21 & 360 of the Constitution, amended) for addressing the agricultural crisis highlighted by on-going farmer’s agitation and other economic problems emanating from the paucity of funds.

 

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