Farmers protest reduction in subsidy for polyhouses

Farmers protest reduction in subsidy for polyhouses

 Members of Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene staged a protest in front of the office of deputy director, Horticulture department on Friday, condemning the government’s move to cut down on subsidy given for the construction of polyhouses under Krishi Bhagya scheme.

The protesters said only 67 out of 155 farmers, who had constructed polyhouses in 2015-16 had received the subsidy and that the government’s sudden decision had come as a great shock to the rest of the farmers, who were yet to receive it.

K Narayana Gowda, vice president of the sangha said farmers had constructed polyhouses by borrowing loans from banks and private moneylenders expecting subsidy. “The government has not released the subsidy amount for a year now and has already left the beneficiary farmers in lurch. Now the reduction in the subsidy amount would only rub salt on their injuries,” he added.

Narayana Gowda said farmers who were unable to repay loans were facing the threat of losing their properties. They demanded that the government reconsider its decision and immediately release pending subsidy amount.

Raitha Sangha district president Srinivas, women unit president A Nalini and other office-bearers of the sangha took part in the protest.

Minimum wages sought
Meanwhile, the members of Centre of Indian Trade Unions staged a protest in Kolar, demanding minimum wages for workers serving under various projects of the government.

The protesters, who took out a march from the circuit house till taluk panchayat office, said that the officials were exploiting contract workers by not paying them wages as per the order of the labour department. They have also been denied various statutory benefits.

CITU district unit honorary president Narayanaswamy said that the contract workers were not being paid on time. In some places in the district, they have not been paid for the past eight months as a result of which contract workers are finding it difficult to lead their life. They are constrained to borrow money to meet the daily expenses.

He said that the officials and elected representatives had joined hands in misusing the wages and other benefits meant for workers. “The workers who raise their voice against this injustice are being sacked. Their demand for regularisation of service has not been met even after years of struggle. They lack service security,” he added.

He said that minimum wages should be fixed for anganwadi workers and they should be brought under the purview of the Minimum Wages Act. A separate service rules should be introduced for anganwadi workers. They should not be dismissed from service for minor lapses.

“According to the recommendation of the Indian Labour Conference, all those who serve under various projects of the government should be treated as workers and they should be paid minimum wages and retirement benefits,” the protesters said.

They said that more money should be pumped in for the projects such as Integrated Child Development Scheme, Akshara Dasoha, Asha, National Health Mission etc.