Jaikisan Andolan, a Swaraj Abhiyan-led farmers' movement, today demanded that the Centre set up a "farm income commission" and ensure minimum wages for the agricultural community before implementing the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the group noted that the disparities between agriculture and other sectors are set to "widen" following the acceptance of the recommendations, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said.
"The pay panel recommendations would be over and above the annual increments of Central government employees. But no one seems to be bothered about the plight of farmers and unorganised sector workers," Yadav said in an interaction with the media here.
He said that the average income of farm households is Rs 6,246 at the national level, which comes down further when income strictly from farming is considered as per "NSSO 70th round data".
"On the other hand the minimum pay as per 7th Pay Commission recommendations has been increased to Rs 18,000 per month. There is a four-fold difference between the lowest paid in the government sector and lowest classes of agro households," Yadav said.
He said a farm commission should be mandated to minimum living income and eliminate 'negative income' (when income is less than expenditure) in the agricultural community.
A robust agro sector would help in revitalising the national economy as well by reversing the rural slowdown, Yadav said flanked by Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers' Movement convenor Yudhvir Singh and Sunilam, working president of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti.
SOURCE - business-standard