Farmers Pull-In Billionaires Into Centre Fight Over Amended Bill
Farmers Pull-In Billionaires: The farming law saga has finally pulled in India’s richest into the privatization of the farming controversy. This includes Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani. In response to the discovery that (probably) Ambani could be roped in for the private buying drive of grains from the Indian farmers, farmers had vandalized his company’s telecommunication towers.
Indeed, the farmers are taking things in their hands; but this is not going to go well with the billionaires as they get (unknowingly) stuck between the Centre and farmer plights. For months together, farmers from Punjab, Haryana and rest of the country have left their work and crowded the borders of Delhi and Haryana protesting against the new farmer laws.
The recent cases of violence and protest over use of businesses of both business tycoons, shows Modi’s closeness with the rich and the famous in the Indian economy. It has also been noted that both Adani and Ambani have cumulatively $41 billion together to show while the Indian economy plummeted amidst the Covid-19 crises.
The disparity is huge- the wealth of the nation’s top nine billionaires is equivalent to wealth of the bottom of the 50 percent of the population according to a non profit’s report that works against inequality.
The new farm legislation that was passed in September 2019 will now allow private companies to buy produce directly from farmers, moving from the decade old system of state-run wholesale buyers and markets that guaranteed a minimum support price. While the Centre has given assurance that the MSP safety net would continue to exist, farmers (especially from Punjab) are not satisfied.
The only intention as Modi claims the Centre has is to cut out the middleman and let the farmers get a better payback for their produce. Farmers are also skeptical over concentration of power in a few hands. Modi has had close ties with both Adani and Ambanis but for the right reasons.
Meanwhile, Reliance stores remain shut in Punjab over this tussle and turmoil. Workers and staff are losing money and Reliance has had to bear the brunt too.