GHAZIABAD: The way Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged people to forego subsidy on LPG cylinders, he should now ask MPs and MLAs to give up their pension so that funds can be used to financially support the youth, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said on Monday.
He also batted for safeguarding the interests of people engaged in dairy and milk supply in the country, apprehending a new government policy on import of such products could jeopardise the community’s livelihood.
“The way the prime minister had urged people to give up their subsidy on LPG cylinders, he should now appeal to parliament members, state legislative assembly members and ask them to give up their pension,” Tikait told reporters.
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The Bharatiya Kisan Union leader said the youth of the country has no monetary support from the government but legislators do get pension, so Modi should make an appeal to the lawmakers to give up the benefit.
“And the farmers unions will express gratitude to the MPs and MLAs who give up their pension,” he added.
Tikait claimed the government is coming up with a policy on milk importation and that milk is being imported in large quantities from foreign countries, dealing a “death blow” to those engaged in dairy work in the country.
“The input cost is high and the selling rate of milk is low (in India),” he said, adding a uniform price for milk should be fixed.
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He said, even today, in rural parts of the country, milk is sold for Rs 22 per litre to Rs 28 per litre – around the same price a litre of packaged water costs.
He claimed the number of livestock in the country has fallen and apprehended that India could meet the fate of Turkey soon.
“Turkey has no livestock, its land has deteriorated and it imports milk. But our farmers won’t let this happen here,” he said.
Tikait is leading thousands of farmers at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border where they have occupied a stretch of the Delhi-Meerut highway since November to protest against the Centre’s new agri laws amid stringent security deployment around the site.
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The protesters are demanding that the Union government take back the contentious laws and make a new law to guarantee minimum support price for crops.
The government, which has held 11 rounds of formal talks with protesters, has maintained the laws are pro-farmer.