Palagummi Sainath, an Indian journalist who focuses on social & economic inequality, rural affairs, poverty and the aftermath of globalization in India, has launched a scathing attack on the NDA government. Sainath has said that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana launched by the centre in February 2016 is a much bigger scam than the Rafale Deal.
The founder of People’s Archive has alleged the present policies of government as ‘anti-farmer’. In his recent interview to IANS, he has directly hinted deep routed corruption by alleging the centre of giving the task of providing crop insurance only to select corporates such as Reliance and Essar.
ALSO READ –
He explains with an example that approximately 2.80 Lakh farmers sowed soya in their farms. In a particular district, the farmers paid a premium amounting to Rs. 19.2 crore while the state and central governments paid Rs. 77 crore each. This tallied to total of Rs. 173 crore paid to Reliance General Insurance, which is owned by none other than the allegedly Rafale Scam accused Anil Ambani.
Sainath further said that the entire crop had failed and the insurance company paid out the claims. Reliance paid Rs. 30 crore approximately in one district which pegged its net profit at Rs. 143 crore without investing a single rupee. Sainath urged people to question the total benefit that would have been multiplied for Reliance General Insurance if we calculated this figure with each of the districts it has been entrusted with.
He did not end here. P. Sainath has also alleged that the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party has been withholding crucial data on farmer suicide. He has critiqued that the government does not want people to know the real figures. He substantiated his allegation by stating that the Data from the National Crime Records Bureau from 1995-2015 shows 3.10 lakh farmers committed suicide in 20 years. However, the data for past two years has not been published by the government.
Sainath plans to undertake a ‘farmer’s march’ to the Parliament in Delhi on 29th and 30th November, to protest and demand the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, which was set up in 2004 to look into the issues of distress and suicides committed by the farmers. The former journalist asked if the Parliament can be summoned at midnight for GST, why can’t they not discuss the critical issues of the farmers in the house.
Imagine a #democratic #protest where a million #Farmers, labourers and others march to the capital and compel discussion of the exploding crisis of the countryside in a special three-week session of #Parliament #chalodelhi https://t.co/JaE6kPf3EL
— P. Sainath (@PSainath_org) July 16, 2018
This is not the first time Reliance General Insurance, a subsidiary of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) has been accused of a scam or controversy. Last month, the government of Jammu and Kashmir was criticised for making it mandatory for all government employees to purchase medical insurance only from brand Reliance.