November 29, 2013
todays-paper/tp-national/tp- karnataka/farmers-to-picket- mangalore-port-against-wto- conference/article5403972.ece
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Farmers to picket Mangalore port against WTO conference
2,500 people will take part in the protest, says KRRS leader
The policies of WTO are against the interests of the farmers and below poverty line families in India. A meeting of farmers’ organisations of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra was held in Bangalore on November 17 and 18 and it decided to stage protest against WTO Ministerial conference. More than 2,500 farmers will take part in the protest, Mr. Gangadhar told presspersons here on Thursday.
India has recently passed Food Security Bill which guarantees foodgrains at subsidised prices for the poor families. India also procures foodgrains under minimum support price (MSP) from the farmers when there is fall in the price of agricultural produce. The food grains procured at MSP are distributed among the poor families at subsidised prices through the food security programmes. The cap imposed by WTO on its member nations on offering food subsidies and extending MSPs are unscientific, he said.
When the agriculture subsidy in the member nation crosses the permissible limit, WTO can impose fine. Under the Food Security Bill, India will provide 5 kilo subsidised foodgrains for 67 per cent of its population. If the Act is fully implemented, the cap on food subsidy offered by WTO will be breached. Prior to the Bali conference, WTO is pressuring India to withdraw the Food Security Bill passed by the Parliament and thereby has insulted the sovereignty of the nation, he said.
As per the direction of WTO, India has lifted quantitative restrictions on import of agricultural produce due to which there was a sharp in the price of foodgrains grown by the farmers here. The import of sugar, silk, pulses and milk powder at cheap price that has harmed the interests of the farmers here should be stopped immediately, he said.
The farmers will also take out a protest march from the railway station in Mangalore city at 11 a.m. to the Mangalore port, he said.
Functionaries of KRRS Yashwanth Rao and D.V. Veeresh, Umapathi were present in the press conference.