The farmers protest that begun against the revolutionary farm bills has entered its fourth week now. The alleged farmers camping at the 5 borders of Delhi might not have made any headways due to their overtly sensationalized protests but they have managed to incur huge losses to the exchequer through their unreasonable demands. According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (ASSOCHAM) rough estimates, a daily loss of Rs 3,000-3500 crore is resulting in the economies of the region from the value chain and transport disruption because of the protests.
The agriculture sector is a core sector and any disruption in it affects several other sectors such as Transport, food grains, food processing, seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. However, the anti-national forces masquerading as farmers have sabotaged the protests. And now, it is the small farmers, commoners, and the tax-payers that are paying the price of vested interests of a few big landlord Farmers of Punjab.
According to the chamber, around two-thirds of consignments in transit are taking 50 per cent extra time to reach their destinations in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR. In addition, transport vehicles are forced to travel up to 50 per cent longer to reach Delhi from the warehouses in Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Punjab.
”The size of the combined economies of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K is about Rs 18 lakh crore. With the ongoing farmers’ agitation and blockade of roads, toll plazas and railways, the economic activities have come to a halt.” said Assocham President Niranjan Hiranandani.
The chamber observed that the effect of the agitation is more acute for industries in hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir which are dependent on goods transported by road.
And it is not as if the government hasn’t tried to meet the farmers midway. During one of the farmer-government meet up. The centre went out of its way to accommodate the demands of the farmers but the political angle of the protest has somehow outweighed the legitimate demands of the few genuine farmers.
From the release of Sharjeel Imam to Umar Khalid – the protests have metamorphosed into something completely different that is a million miles away from what it was, to begin with.
Reported by TFI, After the Khalistani link destabilized the protests, few Kissan Unions have sought the release of Urban Naxals and the Delhi Riots accused. The fact that the protestors are now demanding the release of criminals and anti-India elements is not only a travesty but also further backs the claims that the protests have been hijacked by anti-India elements.
BKU Ekta Ugrahan observing human rights day at Tikri border, want release of writers, intellectuals, rationalists mainly arrested in Alghar Parishad case #GautamNavlakha, #SudhaBhardwaj, #VarvaraRao, #AnandTeltumbde and many others #FarmerProtests pic.twitter.com/6B7S9ab2Tb
— Neel Kamal (@NeelkamalTOI) December 10, 2020
Assocham’s estimates paint a grim picture of what protests stemming from the motives of few non-state actors can do to the economy of the country. The National capital was held to ransom for months on end in ShaheenBagh and if the political protestors hiding in the garb of farmers are not removed from the borders, then the coming month or two could see a repeat of the infamous ShaheenBagh.