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October 2013

ALL INDIA AGRICULTURAL WORKERS UNION

WHY DO
WE HAVE A
PRICE RISE?

BULLETIN

VOLUME: 01
ISSUE: 03

S. Ramachandra Pillai agging off KSKTU Jatha

Govindan Master addressing the Jatha

Public meeting at Moradabad at Uttar Pradesh State Conference

Agricultural Workers Dharna at Pudukkottai

Rally on occasion of Maharasthra state conference

Agricultural workers protesting at Pudukkottai and Trichy

CONTENTS
1.

Why do we have a price rise?

04

2.

Ination and price rise

07

3.

Far from satisfaction actuals and expenditure under agship programs

12

4.

Struggle for scsp act experience from andhra pradesh

15

5.

Agrarian crisis : irreversible impact on agricultural labour

19

6.

All-india consumer price index numbers for agricultural and rural


labourers on base 1986-87=100

21

7.

Consumer price index for agricultural and rural labour an analysis

26

Why do we have
a price rise?
Suneet Chopra
With the September 2013 gure for ination rising by
6.46% for wholesale prices and 9.84% retail prices in a
month after a similar rise in August of 6.1% and 9.52%
respectively, is a matter of grave concern as this
inationary cycle has lasted for nearly ten years and its
worst impact is on food items which are over half the
expenditure of a rural working family.
Between 2004 and 2013, food prices in general rose by
157%. Cereals, the staple diet of the poorest, were high
on the scale, with rice at 137% and wheat at 117%. Pulses
the sole source of protein for most of the Indian masses,
had risen by 123%. Potato, the staple diet of the poorest
topped even the highest gure at 185%. As for vegetables
and onions they had gone quite out of the diet of the poor,
by rising up to 350% and 521% respectively. The amazing
thing is that all this was taking place while the Central
Government had been mouthing slogans that it would
soon bring the prices down without doing anything
about it.
The people have waited in vain for the Government to
start proceeding against hoarders. But one realizes they
are not likely to do that as the Food Corporation of India is
the biggest hoarder itself. While its food stocks on
October 1, 2013 reported some 24 million tones of excess
wheat with various Government agencies but it has not
been ofoaded as APL or on the market to reduce the
prices one begins to wonder what its game is? Even when
the Supreme Court instructed the government to
distribute the grain rotting in FCI godowns, the Minister
for Agriculture declared there were not constitutional
provisions for doing so. One wonders then what
constitutional provisions are there for starving the people
and allowing hoarders to raise prices even as they starve?
But then, as the Government is the biggest hoarder of
cereals in the country, one can hardly expect it to check

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AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

lesser hoarders effectively. In fact, the Agricultural Prices


and Mandi Committees Act is heavily loaded in favour of
wholesalers who not only determine the prices of
farmers products but also run cartels that monopolise
products and raise prices at will. In fact, the governments
Minimum Support Price mechanism too, being pegged at
Rs.1350 (now Rs.1400) per quintal in comparison to Rs.
1800 in the market, is considerably lower than the market
price and even the cost of production. This is a step in
favour of the monopolists and hoarders, allowing them to
take even larger prots than otherwise.
That is why despite the fact that retail food ination has
persisted at around 10% but that of cereals is 15% -17%,
the Central Government and most state governments
have done very little to make things better. This should
make us aware of how important government policy is to
maintaining the price level. Not only has the government
failed to check the price of food grains but it has even
fuelled it by increasing administered prices. Under the
Public Distribution System both during the NDA and UPA
regimes, while the increased prices of petrol and diesel
have increased transport costs on the one hand and of
production dependent on pump-sets on the other. The
price of rice for the BPL card holders increased from
Rs.350 per quintal in 1997-98 to Rs.415 per quintal in
2007-08. In the same period the APL price was increased
from Rs.550 per quintal to Rs.755. For wheat, the price for
BPL card holders was increased from Rs.250 per quintal to
Rs.415 and from Rs.450 to Rs.610 for APL card holders in
10 years. The elimination of levy sugar had led to a similar
situation. With the cash for food scheme coming into
operation now, the prices of rationed provisions will also
feed ination as the money will enter the market directly.
Moreover the quantity of grain per family will go down, so
consumption will be far more dependent on hoarders and
proteers led by the Government as the biggest hoarder.
Other hoarders will benet from the legalization of the
Futures Trade in grain which has contributed considerably
to the price rise globally and in India, according to a recent
UN study. To add to it, fertilizer prices have more than
doubled while hoarders are having a eld day with the
decontrol of potassium based fertilizers. The price rise
appears to be directly a result of government policies.
Given this cue by the state, wholesalers, who both hoard

and monopolise production, are all set to gain astronomic


prots.
The price of onions is as good an example as any to
illustrate this development. According to a report
submitted to the Government of India, as far back as
January 2013, the warning was given of how vulnerable
this market was to hoarding. 70% - 80% of the countrys
onion trade was restricted to Maharashtra (32.7%) and
Karnanataka(17.6%) although onions are the second
most consumed vegetable in the country. In fact the
biggest producer of onions is the Union Agricultural
Ministers home state, Maharashtra. While both these
states harvest onions in winter, but given the monopolistic
control of the mandis, the small onion producers are no
match for the monopolists. Secondly, the traders also
provide loans to the farmers and exploit them. As a result,
especially as these traders are commission agents and
wholesalers, apart from being owners of storage facilities
and even order suppliers and transporters, their capacity
to arm twist both the farmers and consumers has been
allowed by the state to take on devastating proportions. A
few Nasik based traders actually monopolise the whole
market. According to the report, a single trader in
Maharashtra market accounted for up to 20.4% of the
trade. As a result the country has to pay the bill, with
hoarders raising the prices rst during the winter season
that coincides with festivals like Onam, Durga Puja,
Diwali, Eid and Christmas, and then refusing to sell the
stock of the winter harvest as happened in 2010-11. Since
the government has left the vegetable sector totally in
private hands, both the farmer and the consumer are left
to the mercy of proteers, hoarders and monopolies, with
the APMC or Mandi Act promoting cartels and not
competition.
To add to this the Government ignores this fact and helps
to raise prices by exporting the surplus just when it should
be put out for sale in the home market. In 2010, when unseasonal rains had destroyed the onion crop, traders were
allowed to export 1, 33,000 tons before the price was
hiked. This year the situation is no different. From April to
December 2012 India exported 30,000 tons of onions
despite bad rains and has continued to do so between
January and May this year, sending prices soaring by no less
than 244.6% since last year.

The same policy is evident in the case of food grains too.


When food grain prices were all set to soar, the
Government of India arranged the largest ever export of
grain in its history in 2012-13, exporting 10.1% million
tones of rice, 6.5 million tones of wheat and 4.8 million
tones of corn, so the prices continue to rise. Had this large
quantity of grain been diverted to the home market from
FCI godowns the prices would not have risen to such
heights. But the Government of India was only concerned
with the fact that traders had entered into long-term
contracts they had to honour. If the people starve as a
result it does not matter.
Moreover, in its reckless invitation to speculative capital,
the Union Government has allowed a run on the Rupee
which has led to a fall of 26 % in its value, increasing import
costs to the same extent, be it for buying oil, palm oil, or
onions which no doubt will get passed on to the consumer
directly. Obviously the Government is pursuing an all
round inationary policy to attract foreign direct
investment in our retail trade even if it is at the cost of
starving the mass of our people.
The situation may have been better if the Public
Distribution System had been strengthened by ensuring a
universal PDS. Such a move would not only reduce prices
of staple foods and also if fourteen other necessaries of life
like oil, sugar and salt were provided under PDS, domestic
hoarding at least would come to an end as would the
Governments glut of rotting grain. But we nd the exact
opposite happening. Over the last ten years in most
budgets the percentage of food subsidy as compared to
the GDP has been declining as has been the per capita
availability of food grains. This naturally creates a
bottleneck on the supply side resulting in inated prices,
which the government has been at pains to deny until
recently. But the major reason for the price rise we are
suffering from over the last ve years is a result also of the
greed of the Indian Government for foreign investment in
the retail trade. So far their most desperate efforts at
opening retail trade to foreign investors have failed, so to
make the protability of our retail market attractive for
the foreign investor prices are being allowed to run riot.
The question that we are faced with then is why this move
is so important as to be enforced the way it is being done,
AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

05

even at the cost of the lives and livelihood of the mass of


Indian people? The answer is clear. The Government is
directed by a coterie of people led by the Prime Minister
who are blind economic fundamentalists committed to an
archaic understanding that certain laws of the classical
development of capitalism cannot be avoided on the path
of progress.
What are these principles? The rst is that the expanding
frontiers of capitalist production require the existence of a
population of propertyless wage labourers. But the
important point is that they are not to be given
employment but only to be a reserve army of labour to
allow the capitalist class to bargain more forcefully with
the existing working class. But if the process creates far
more jobless than are needed as a result of mechanization
and increasing work-load to wring out prots and throws
them into an increasing population of criminals, goons and
maas, then this process of development becomes
destructive to society, calling for the overthrow of the
system and of the economic ideas that guide it. If we fail to
do so, then the disintegration of the society itself will
follow us and this will result in anarchic outbursts, wars
and the subversion of democratic rights achieved by the
working class in struggle.
Then there is the principle of the concentration of capital
in fewer and fewer hands as a result of competitive ruin,
which in our country means the dispossession of the
peasantry and the takeover of their tiny parcels of land by
maas, agro-industry, planters and so-called developers,
which not only increase the number of people in the
labour market but also decrease the amount of land
available for agriculture. That this too has become
dysfunctional is obvious from the increase of the number
of people below the poverty line, without any assets to live
on the hungry and illfed the unemployed, and those who
have been forced to sell their lands and have committed
suicide in our villages in lakhs, creating both chaos and
enormous waste of human potential. This too is a sign that
the path these economic fundamentalists are following is

06

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

destructive of creative potential and not productive at all.


But at the same time the increasing strength of the rural
landless can become the basis of the overthrow of this
inefcient and iniquitous system if we organize them in
struggle.
This state of affairs offers us only one alternative ; to seek
out a better system of channelising resources resorting to
going beyond private monopolies, and relying on proper
planning and its execution in the hands of a state of the
working class and peasantry with powerful instruments of
democratic institutions right down to grass root level.
Some form of socialist solutions to counter these
destructive trends are necessary and must be worked for
step by step without delay. This requires a stiff battle
against the trends of corporatisation, market monopolies
and speculative nancial predators targeting common
resources, and for strengthening social ownership,
cooperatisation and increased support to peoples needs
being met with the resources available as a priority.
We need to conduct militant struggles against the price
rise with the strengthening of a powerful public
distribution system, action against hoarding both by the
wholesalers and the state, and against corruption in the
implementation of government schemes, institutions and
controls on vested interests looting the assets of the
people and driving them to desperation. This can only be
done by the organized struggles of workers peasants and
agricultural labour on their genuine issues till their
demands are met. In this process, the All India
Agricultural Workers Union has a special role in linking
rural and urban struggles , those of peasants and workers,
both being ground down to the reserve army of the
dispossessed, and to guide them to take control of their
destiny rather than commit suicide, ght each other for
scraps and lose their right to live as equal citizens in a state
of despair. Struggles and the hope of a better future
through these alone can help us deal with the mess the
ruling classes are drawing people into.

Ination and
price rise

commodity is declined, it need not be considered as the


decrease in absolute price of that commodity.

Hannan Mollah
Ination is a common economic factor in our day to day
life. Simply it means to us rise in price. In a capitalist
system, commodity is produced for sale and motive
behind the production is to earn prot. This commodity is
related between producer and consumer, through
market. The market is the sole guiding force in the
capitalist economy. The market determines the price of
each commodity, on the basis of demand and supply
guaranteeing certain levels of prot. If demand is more
than supply price will go up and if supply is more than
demand, the price will come down. But the things are not
so simple. The producer produces commodity for
maximum price and to gain maximum price, there are so
many manipulations.
Normally, the price should e based on the cost of
production+ prot formula. . Suppose, a piece of cloth is
produced at the cost of Rs.100/- and there may be normal
prot of Rs.15/- then the price will be Rs.115/-. But if there
is less cloth in the market and many people come to
purchase it, the seller will sell it at Rs.130/- or 145-.which
means 200 % to 300 % additional prot from the normal
level. But if there is more cloth in the market, and few
people come to the market, the saler may sell at the cost
price 115/- or few rupees less, but he cannot do it
continuously. More prot is always welcome but more
loss cannot be tolerated in capitalism.
Changes of prices is calculated between two periods. For
example, price of cloth is Rs.50/- in October 2010 and by
October 2013 it is Rs.55/- that means 10% increase. This
10% increase in the rate of the cloth in three years, and it
is called rate of ination. It is one of the instruments of
exploitation in the hands of capitalist state. The rate of
ination keeps changing from time to time. Either it
increases or it decreases. A decrease in the rate of ination
does not necessarily a decrease in price of certain
commodities. It is only decrease in the rate of increase
compared to the previous period. Hence, whenever, a
news item comes in newspapers or TV channels, saying
that in a particular month rate of ination for a particular

Now we look at how the market manipulates ination.. At


particular time, different factors, developments,
situations inuence the change in prices of commodities
and services, that is ination. Depending upon the reasons
of ination, it is called, as demand led ination or
expenditure led ination. If the availability of a commodity
is lesser a the available money in the market, the price will
increase. Situation where prot margin is higher, increase
in wages and other incomes, insertion of speculative
money into economy, foreign remittances, credit based
cash ow-are some of the probable reasons for supply led
ination. And expenditure ination results when cost of
production increases due to various reasons such as
increased taxes, wages, non-availability of raw materials,
cost overrun of imported goods etc.
There are other types of ination such as currency
ination. If there is more supply of money in the market by
printing notes, or if there is budget decit, it may be decit
ination, if there is massive demand in the market it may
lead to prot ination, or there may be tax led ination or
there may be foreign currency decit led ination or credit
led ination, etc. Also, if the changes in the ination is
regulated through open market, it is known as open
ination and where the ination is regulated by
government, it is known as repressed ination. But
whatever may be the cause of ination, it denitely
increases prices of commodities and it brings new burden
on common people. During ination, the purchasing
power of the people reduces and money can buy less
things which causes difculties in the life of common
people, thus the value of money decreases.
Some argues that a moderate ination is helpful in the
economy. That is why neo-liberal economists prefers a 23% of the ination. That is the reason when the
multilateral agencies prescribe certain conditions, such as,
ination should not cross 5% depend on the strength of
the economy. But Keynes argued that when the economy
is inicted with rampant unemployment, the rate of
ination could not be sound criteria for the policy makers
to depend upon. Though other economists discarded this
argument at that time, since 2008 global nancial crisis, the
economists and policy makers are demanding the
governments not to consider the inationary aspect of
AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

07

monitory policies as it is hunting growth and in turn the


employment potential of the economy. This argument is
very much evident in India when the industry, analysts
demand certain measures in the name of economic
growth without taking into consideration of their
inationary consequences. But, despite all ideological
controversies, it is the fact that prot always goes up
when the rate of ination is sustained at high levels or
keeps increasing from time to time. And it also brings
tears in the eyes of common people who cannot purchase
their daily necessities due to high price.
In Indian context, ination is calculated in three different
method. One is based on wholesale price, second is based
on consumer price index and nally gross domestic
production deator method. The wholesale price index
is based on changes in the price at the wholesale stockists
or producers. It is calculated after considering the price
variations, adjustment in prices of 435 commodities.
Earlier it was calculated on the wholesale price index of
1993-94 nancial years as base years. But now it is
changed to 2010 nancial year as base year. This is
categorized as consumer price index (CPI) for industrial
workers (base year 1984-85) for agricultural workers and
rural labourers (base year 1986-87). Based on National
Sample Survey income and expenditure survey analysis,
the CPI for workers in calculated. Throughout the
country, 78 towns have been identied to collect the
samples. Basing on this, dearness allowance will be xed
for the government employees and also the minimum
wages for different scheduled employment categories.
This is a reective index to gauge the changes in the prices
of commodities of services. Other three categories are
merely serving the purpose of calculating the impact of
poverty and price volatility on the agricultural & rural
labourers as well as the urban non manual labour.
The other method is calculation of the ination based on
gross national product deator method. In this method all
aspects of economy will be covered including service
sector. Based on the central statistical organization data,
GDP, will be calculated at constant price and the
calculation will be done based on the two year back GDP
levels.
In our country, the Government primarily considers on
wholesale price index (WPI) to calculate ination while
formulating its policies. The average gap between the

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AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

wholesale price and consumer price index is around 60%.


That means when government formulates policy by
discounting 60 % of the impact. That is the reason for the
failure of the government polices in controlling the prices.
When we consider consumer price index, only then we
can understand the real impact on the economy as well as
public life in real terms. Besides, the government gives
lower weightage for the necessaries of life which
constitutes up to 80% in common mans house hold
budget. So there are so many ips and aps in calculation
of ination in our country. As a result, always we see the
rising graphs of necessaries of life from time to time,
inspite of governments celebrating of decreasing levels of
ination, which does not reect actual reality on the
grounds.
As we have seen the ination always causes the rise of
price and decreasing purchasing power of common man.
There is no relief for them, specially for the poor and
agricultural workers. They do not get any compensation
for rising prices and their wage is always far behind the
increasing price. So ination is a curse on the life of people.
During the second UPA governments rule there is
continuous double digit ination resulting unprecedented
price-rise in the country. The Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh the pioneer of neo-liberal policy, has given
assurance for at least ten times in last four years that
ination will be controlled and price will come down. But
he is continuously proved wrong. Whereas the common
people is suffering from unprecedented price-rise, there
is also unprecedented rise of prot of the capitalists,
specially of the monopolists and MNCs.
All India Agricultural Workers Union always demanded
that the Government should take effective measure to
control ination and pric-rise. We are more concerned
about the price-rise of essential commodities. For that we
demand that 14 essential commodities for day to day
necessaries of common people, should be provided by
the government through public distribution system, at
subsidized rates. in reasonable and less than the market
price. Universal public distribution system is an effective
instrument to control the impact of ination on poor. We
demanded 35 Kg of foodgrains at the rate of Rs.2/- per kilo
to all families and that will have big impact on price
situation and ination in the country. Besides the
government should take effective administrative measure
by strengthening the prevention of black marketing laws

and check hoarding of essential commodities and punish


the black marketers.
At the same time, the government should take proper
steps to increase purchasing power of common people
and agricultural workers. The MNREGA was enacted due
to our long demand and struggles but the workers are
neither getting 100 days work in a year nor decided
minimum wages. The huge amount of money under this

project is being looted or siphoned off by the nexus


between corrupt politicians, ofcials and contractors.
This should be checked and 250 days work in a year at
Rs.300/- wage should be ensured so that agricultural
workers and rural labourers can survive in this realm of
uncontrolled ination. Our union also should mobilize
large section of the agricultural and rural workers to ght
against this menace of ination and price-rise.

Composition of Whole Sale Price Index Ination


Weight

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

April - July (2013-14)

All Commodities

100

9.6

8.9

7.4

5.0

1.Primary Articles

28.1181

17.7%

9.8%

9.8%

7.0%

4.2

2.5

2.5

1.8

15.6%

7.3%

9.9%

9.0%

2.7%

1.3%

1.8%

1.6%

22.3%

9.6%

10.5%

6.4%

1.0%

0.5%

0.5%

0.3%

24.8%

26.6%

8.2%

-3.7%

0.6%

0.7%

0.3%

-0.1%

12.3%

14.0%

10.3%

8.5%

1.8%

2.2%

1.7%

1.4%

5.7%

7.3%

5.4%

3.1%

3.5%

4.3%

3.1%

1.8%

3.7%

7.1%

8.1%

6.3%

0.4%

0.7%

0.8%

0.6%

5.3%

8.6%

6.6%

3.4%

0.6%

0.9%

0.7%

0.4%

8.7%

11.1%

6.3%

-2.0%

0.9%

1.2%

0.7%

0.2%

2.8%

3.1%

2.6%

2.6%

0.2%

0.2%

0.2%

0.2%

Contribution
A. Food rticles

14.3371

Contribution
B.Non-Food Articles

4.2576

Contribution
C Minerals

1.5235

Contribution
2.Fuel& Power

14.9102

Contribution
3.Manufactured Products

64.9716

Contribution
A. Manufactured Food Products

9.9740

Contribution
B Chemical & Chemical Products

12.0177

Contribution
C Basic Metals, Alloy &
Metal Products

10.7478

Contribution
D Machinery & Machine Tools
Contribution

8.9315

The whole sale price index, always used by the


government, does not show the actual impact on of
ination on common people. The reality can be
understood only when we examine the consumer price

index. If affects the common people as the price of food


and other essential goods are increasing at higher rates. So
the data of CPI given below is to understand the impact of
the ination on poor.
AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

09

5.3 : ALL INDIA CONSUMER PRICE INDEX NUMBERS

Base

New Series (CPI-NS)

(1982=100 & 2001=100)

(2010=100)

(1986-87=100)

(1986-87=100)

Rural Urban All-India

General

General

Food

Non-Food

General

1995-96

337

280

313

1996-97

369

307

1997-98

388

1998-99

Description
1

Agricultural
Rural labourers
labourers (CPI-AL)
(CPI-RL)

Industrial workers (CPI-IW)

237

238b

342

256

256

336

366

264

266

445

372

414

293

294

1999-00

446

404

428

306

307

2000-01

453

433

444

305

307

2001-02

466

460

463

309

311

2002-03

477

488

482

319

321

2003-04

495

507

500

331

333

2004-05

506

538

520

340

342

2005-06

527a

563a

542a

353

355

2006-07

126

124

125

380

382

2007-08

136

130

133

409

409

2008-09

153

138

145

450

451

2009-10

176

151

163

513

513

2010-11

194

168

180

564

564

2011-12

206

185

195

113.1

110.4

111.9

611

611

1995-96

339

292

319

237

238

1996-97

373

322

351

262

262

1997-98

401

352

380

272

273

1998-99

431

391

414

296

296

1999-00

446

418

434

306

307

2000-01

446

444

445

300

302

2001-02

462

476

468

309

311

2002-03

479

498

487

324

326

2003-04

494

517

504

332

334

2004-05

502

555

525

340

342

2005-06

115a

122a

119a

358

360

2006-07

129

125

127

392

393

2007-08

141

134

137

423

423

2008-09

156

141

148

463

464

Average of Months

Last Month of

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AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

Base

New Series (CPI-NS)

(1982=100 & 2001=100)

(2010=100)

(1986-87=100)

(1986-87=100)

Rural Urban All-India

General

General

Food

Non-Food

General

1
2009-10

2
181

3
161

4
170

2010-11

196

176

185

2011-12

212

192

April

197

May

Description

Agricultural
Rural labourers
labourers (CPI-AL)
(CPI-RL)

Industrial workers (CPI-IW)

8
536

9
536

106.9 103.9

105.6

585

584

201

116.2 114.6

115.5

625

626

177

186

107.5 104.5

106.2

587

587

198

178

187

108.7 105.0

107.1

592

592

June

201

179

189

109.9 107.3

108.8

598

597

July

204

184

193

111.7 108.9

110.5

604

604

August

205

185

194

113.1 109.9

111.7

610

610

September

209

187

197

114.4 111.1

113.0

615

614

October

212

186

198

115.2 112.0

113.8

619

620

November

212

188

199

115.4 112.5

114.1

621

621

December

207

188

197

114.5 112.3

113.6

618

619

January

206

191

198

114.9 112.8

114.0

618

619

February

207

192

199

115.4 113.5

114.6

621

623

March

212

192

201

116.2 114.6

115.5

625

626

April

218

194

205

117.9 116.1

117.1

633

634

May

219

195

206

119.1 117.1

118.2

638

640

June

222

196

208

120.5 118.5

119.6

646

648

July

227

199

212

122.6 119.9

121.4

656

658

August

230

200

214

124.3 121.1

122.9

666

667

September

232

200

215

125.6 121.9

124.0

673

675

October

233

203

217

126.6 122.6

124.9

680

681

November

235

203

218

126.9 123.4

125.4

685

686

December

235

205

219

126.8P 124.0P 125.6P

688

689

2011-12

2012-13

Source: 1. Labour Bureau, Shimla for consumer price indices for Industrial Workers (IW), Agricultural Labourers (AL) and Rural Labourers
(RL), Source: 2. C.S.O. for consumer price indices for new series (CPI-NS).
P: Provisional
a The current series of CPI for Industrial Workers with 2001 base was introduced w.e.f. January, 2006 and the gures from 2005-06 (last
month) are based on new base. The earlier series on base 1982=100 was simultaneously discontinued. The conversion factor from the
current to the old series is 4.63 in case of the General Index, and 4.58 for Food Index.
b Average index from November, 1995 to March 1996.
Note 1: Annual gures are yearly averages of months. Note 2: Weights of CPI-IW for food & non-food with base 1982=100 are 57% &
43% respectively and with base 2001=100 are 46.20% & 53.80% respectively. Note 3: CPI- New Series (Rural, Urban & All-India) was
introduced w.e.f. January 2011. The CPI-UNME has since been totally discontinued.

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

11

Far from Satisfaction Actuals and Expenditure


under Flagship
Programs
A. Vijayaraghavan
Recently the news papers lled with the reports of UPA
Committed to give basic facilities to all Sonia, Center
writing states to improve MGNREGA, All set to launch
new agship Food security scheme Flagship schemes
for housing, skill training for urban poor cleared etc. The
UPA I government came up with the new terminology of
agship programs for he rst time. Though the schemes
which were proposed under this banner are not at all
completely new, recognizing the role of their economic
linkages ushering in comprehensive development is a new
phenomenon. The 11th Five Year Plan document
visualized this linkage and said, though the 10th Five Year
Plan achieved 7.7 % growth, it is perceived that the
growth is not sufciently inclusive for many groups,
especially SC, ST, minorities. Gender inequalities remain a
passive problem. To bridge this gap in developmental
indices the UPA came up with idea of agship schemes and
thus oated 13 such programs. Some of them are
completely new where as some of them are restructured
programs of old ones. Over the time three more were
added to the kitty and thus as on now 16 such programs
are under implementation as on now. The ultimate
objective behind the Flagship programs is to achieve
broad-based improvement in the living standards and to
ensure that growth is widely spread so that its benets are
adequately shared by all, especially the poor and weaker
sections of the society.
The list given below consists of schemes and also scheme
wise nancial responsibilities between the central and
state governments as indicated with the brackets.
National Food Security Act is latest in this series. Of these
four programs are completely centrally sponsored where

12

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

as in the case another four programs centre is bearing 85 90 % of the nancial costs. The nancial responsibility for
the remaining schemes are more or less equally shared
considerably by the state governments as well.
1. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY) (100)
2.

Accelerated Irrigation Benet Programme(AIBP)


(50:50)

3.

Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana(RGGVY)


(90:10)

4.

Accelerated Power Development & Reforms


Programme(APDRP) (25:75)

5.

Indira Awaas Yojana - (IAY) (75:25)

6.

National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) (90:10)

7.

National Horticulture Mission(NHM) (85:15)

8.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana(RKVY) (100)

9.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan - (SSA) (60:40)

10. Mid Day Meal Scheme - (MDM) (75:25)


11. Integrated Child Development Scheme- (ICDS)
(50:50)
12. National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP) (100)
13. National Rural Health Mission - (NRHM) (85:15)
14. Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
(JNNURM) (50:20:30)
15. Total Sanitation Campaign - (TSC)(60:28:12)
16. National Rural Water Supply Programme (NRWSP)
(100)
Additionally on the eve the general elections central
government cleared some more schemes such as
delivering mobile hand sets to the rural working women,
primarily agricultural labour, educational reforms worth 3
laksh crores, rechristening of Swarja Jayanti Swarojgar
Yojana into National Urban Livelihood Mission and so on
apart from the game changer National Food Security Act.

Since beginning of these agship programs the neo-liberal


intellectuals cried foul and worried about the return of so
called welfare state. But the Comptroller and Auditor
General of India it its latest report ( Report 1 of 2013Financial Audit) laid bare the claims of the government
when it reviewed the expenditure on agship schemes in
different years. Over the last four years cumulative
spending in the name of seven agship schemes stood at
4,07,058.5 crores against the budgetary allocations of
4,13,307.69 crores. In another sense contrary to the
general perception that the UPA government is spending
more on the social welfare schemes, the table explains
the gradual reduction in expenditure under these
schemes. Certain schemes such as RGGVY experienced
drastic reduction upto 62 % where as the election
winning MGNREGA program seems lost the favor of the
government. This is evident in fact that in any single year
government failed to utilize the budgetary allocations at
least leaving aside the drawing additional resources.
Wa y b a c k i n 2 0 0 9 i t s e l f n d i n g p r o b l e m s i n
implementation, the Prime Ministers Ofce set up a
Delivery and Monitoring Unit to coordinate and sort out
the delivery mechanisms. Despite that arrangement,
there is no major improvements in on the ground.
Recognising this, the National Advisory Council, which
advises the government on policy matters constituted a
three member sub committee to review the
implementation problems and suggest way out under the
chairmanship of Mihir Shah, who also happened to be
planning commission member. Mihir Shah committee
came out with recommendations on three basic aspects
of the implementation of agship schemes. They are, a)
streamlining the funds ow, b) improvements in
transparency aspects, c) preparing the knowledge banks
at district level implementation. Mihir Shah committee
also nds it difcult when it comes to the nancing the
schemes. That is why its rst recommendation centers
around streamlining of fund ows. This is what the CAG
report also indicates when it looks at the budgetary
allocations and expenditure levels under different
programs.

Let us consider the allocations and actual expenditure for


nancial year 2011-12 as test case. The cumulative
allocations for seven agship schemes for the 2011-12
nancial year stands at 126312 crores and actual
expenditure at 109379 crores. Except in the case of
PMGSY in the year 2010-11 which experienced almost
double amount spent than the budget allocation, for all
the agship schemes the situation stands same. Year by
year the expenditure on these schemes is decreasing.
When we look at the nature of the schemes the
MGNREGA is the only scheme that is intended to
enhance the livelihood sources and wages for the
majority of the rural poor and also is a program of
permanency. Hence out of the near about 4 lakhs crores
of allocations, MGNREGA component itself is about
1,79,079.2 crores. But actual expenditure is only 125842
crores short of nearly 53, 237.2 croresm which is a
whopping 29.72 %. That means, over the last four years
itself, out of the allocations under MGNREGA,
government could not spend nearly 30 % of allocations !
According to the estimates available from the rural
development ministry websites (off course they are
questionable ) monitoring unit reports that for the
nancial year 2008-09, the beneciaries under the
program was 4, 51,15, 358 where as for the 2011-12
nancial year it stood at 5, 49, 54, 225 ( nearly 5.5 crores)
which means increase of 1 crore. As it is the program
based consisting daily wage component, increase in the
number of beneciaries with out increase in expenditure
budget means decrease in the real wages under the
program which is against the law itself.
But the CAG report mentioned in the table below
informs us that the actual expenditure is decreasing over
the period gradually. This brings into focus the actual
magnitude of the program. According to the act, it is
mandatory to provide 100 days employment at
prescribed wages. But the basic analysis of the CAG
report and its comparison with monitoring reports from
the ministry of rural development makes it clear that
neither the beneciaries are getting 100 days
employment not the prescribed wages. The statistical
play reveals that with mere 2000 crores increase in
AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

13

expenditure ( 27,250 crores in 2008-09 and 29, 213


crores in 2011-12) resulted in creation of employment
opportunities for another one crore people (4, 51, 15,
358 to 5, 49, 54, 225) which makes government data
questionable.
Similar the case of Indiara Avas Yojana. The scheme is
basically designed to ensure proper basic housing for all
the poor and destitute households. 1998 habitat policy
gave a llip to this scheme and has experienced
considerable enhancements in the budget allocations.
According to one study, over the 27 years, since the
beginning of the scheme, government spent 35,450 crore
for rural housing, that means, on average 1312 croes per
annum ! The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) conrms
the wide gap between the budgetary allocations as well as
actual expenditure. The CPR concludes, the spending as a
proportion of available funds (releases and unspent
balances from previous years) was consistent at 84
percent between 2006-07 and 2009-10 nancial years.
But during the 2008-09, the actual spending came down
to 58 % of budget allocations. That was also the year in
which international nancial crisis broke out and
countries started facing the budgetary constraints. The
condition of remaining agship programs is not different
from that of the above mentioned two.
Also there is one more aspect that needs to be considered
while examining the expenditure on the agship
programs. Ranging from MGNREGA to NRHM to
JNNURM all the agship programs are falling pray to the
corrupt practices at varied levels due to the lack of proper
monitoring mechanisms, lack of social audit, and even due
to the nexus between the administrative authorities and
contractors resulting in the severe criticism from among
the different quarters. This corruption has been being
used as a weapon to scuttle down the programs as a
whole disregarding the role and social impact they are
leading to.
Apart from this there are two more important aspects to
this question. One is the reasons behind the difference
between the budget allocations and actual expenditures
over the period. One must remember the fact that what

14

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

ever the budget announcements, the government is


governed by the budget responsibility and scal
management irrespective of the ruling parties at the
center. This scal responsibility and budget management
act ( popularly called as FRBM act) imposes the ceiling on
the over all expenditure of the government and also xes
the bench mark in terms of scal decit. As we know, for
more than a year the neo liberal policy analysts both
foreign and indigenous experts are warning the
government about the widening current account decit
as well as. The nance ministers statement suggesting the
universal cut of 15 % on all government expenditure is an
indication to this effect.
The second issue this analysis brings forth is about the
varied levels of implementation. Apart from the scal
restraint on the part of central government, lack of
proper stress on the execution of these programs is also a
reason for reduction in expenditure. Some of these
schemes comes with nancial obligations on the state
governments. Please refer above box for scheme wise
details of state governments nancial obligations. As the
state governments are stung with lack of resources, it is
nancially convenient for them also not to implement
these schemes at the prescribed levels. All these schemes
and programs are demand driven and as much demand
arises that much of the expenditure it demands. Both the
reasons, nancial constraints on the part of central and
state governments, as well as tardy implementation levels
results in the reduction of allocations. The duty of rank
and le of All India Agricultural Workers Union is to
mobilize the section wise people for whose benets these
programs are designed and see that the benets reaches
to all and in the process ght the corruption that hampers
the schemes progress and imposes burden on the
agricultural workers families. Towards this direction we
need to focus our energies.

Major Flagship Programmes of the Government in the part four years Actual expenditures and
budget estimates
Sr. Programme
No

2008-09

2009-2010

2010-2011

2011-2012

BE

Acuals

BE

Acuals

BE

Acuals

BE

Acuals

SSA

13100.00

12625.80

13100

12825

15000

19637

20413

20841

MDM

8000.

6540

8000

6932

9440

9118

10061

9891

MGNREGA

29939.60

27250

39100

33538

40100

35841

40000

29213

RGGVY

5500

5500

6300

5000

5500

5000

6000

2237

IAY

5645.77

8795.79

8800

8800

10000

10337

10000

9872

PMGSY

3615.00

14698.39

12000

11340

12000

22400

20000

19342

NRHM

9191.82

10477.52

155934

15670

17138

16238

19838

17983

Total

74983.19

85887.5

102834

93143

109178 118649

126312

109379

Note : Statistics for the years 2009-10 to 2011-12 are from CAG Report 1 of 2013. Data for the year 2008-09 collected from different
government sources.
Note 2 : Abbreviations
SSA = Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, MDM = Mid Day Meal Scheme , MGNREGA = Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act, RGGVY = Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyudeekaran Yojana, IAY = Indira Avas Yojana, PMGSY = Pradhan Mantri Gram
Swarojgar Yojana, NRHM = National Rural Health Mission

Struggle for SCSP Act Experience from


Andhra Pradesh
Paturu Ramayya
The concept of Special Central Assistance ( SCA) as the
Scheduled Caste Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan, was the
outcome of realisation that the general path of
developmental that post independent India had
embarked, could not give enough space for the Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It was found that there is
development gap between the general public and those of
SCs and STs. It is this realisation that lead to the Special
Central Assistance (SCA), the precursor to the SCSP and
TSP coming into being in 1979. In effect, it can be said that
the so called trickledown theory of economic

development failed to ensure the benets reach the under


privileged sections of people. Thus a demand came up for
a dedicated allotment of funds for a directed development
of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes instead of
ending up as beneciaries of incidental development. As
result of serious introspection within the government
about this fact, a policy instrument was devised to meet
this development gap, and thus the concept of Special
Central Assistance to the States came in. This has been
reframed now as Scheduled Cast Sub Plan, and Tribal Sub
Plan. It too almost 25 years for the central government to
come up with guidelines for implementation of Sub Plan.
The basic concept of sub plan is prorate allocation of funds
for the development of targeted groups of population
who are historically experiencing the lack of government
support. Hence it is obvious to look at the data of
scheduled caste population across the states. The census
report 2011 gives us details about the state wise
distribution of scheduled caste population both in rural
and urban areas (Table 1). According to 2011 Census,
AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

15

scheduled caste population is 16.6 percent of Indias


population ( 20,13,78,562) slightly increased from 16.2 %
from 2001. Going by the census estimates, each state has
to earmark a percentage of funds in proportion to the
scheduled caste population, from their budgets for the
development of scheduled caste population. But on the
ground the reality is quite different from the policy
announcements.
Despite the policys existence for nearly three decades, in
no single year the budgetary allocations of central
governments including plan expenditure are below the
sub plan mandate. Governments, it is proved from the
experience of three decades, are not willing to develop
the suitable mechanisms for the development programs
of SCs and STs which becomes an alibi for not earmarking
the necessary funds under sub plans. In recent history
itself, there are several instances of diversion of funds
earmarked for scheduled caste sub plans like one we have
seen in commonwealth games in Delhi. The union
minister for tribal welfare himself went on record about
such diversion of funds in case of TSP. Apart from the lack
of suitable administrative mechanism, and legal mandate
for earmarking and execution of funds under SCSP, the
process of earmarking also riddle with lack of
transparency and arbitrariness. Centre for Budget
Governance and Accountability had done a detailed study
on the state of allocations for these sub plans.
On the one hand the concept of Scheduled caste sub plan
fraught with the lack of funds, attention and
implementation and on the other hand, the planning
commission came up with an alternative measures that
guide the budgetary allocations. Before going into the
details, let us shed some light on the background of the
new criteria which represents the paradigmatic shift in
earmarking the funds for Scheduled Castes Sub Plan and
Tribal Sub Plan. Followed by the fact that majority of the
central ministries/ departments as well as several
governments failed to earmark required proportion of
funds under Scheduled Caste Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan,
the then Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment,
Mukul Wasnik sought in 2009 that the Planning
Commission, sort out the riddle and apprise the Ministry
of outlays earmarked by various Ministries under SCSP. In

16

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

that letter itself Mukul Wasnik requested the Planning


Commission to issue revised guidelines with a suitably
differentiated approach vis a vis various groups of
Ministries. In other words, depending on the nature of
their work, Ministries may be asked to earmark less or
more than 16.2 %, as the departments and ministries
failed to comply with the present guidelines which
mandates the earmarking of 16.2% of their plan outlay for
Scheduled Caste Sub Plan.
Table 2
SCSP Outlays
Seventh Plan

1.08% (SCSP+ TSP)

Eighth Plan

3.36 %

Ninth Plan

10.63%

Tenth Plan (2002-04)

10.63%

2006-07 (RE)

4.83%

2007-08

6.11%

2010-11

7.25%

2011-12

8.98%

When we look at the table -2, it is evident that in no plan


period, since in inception of Sub Plan, the government not
allocated the required percentage of funds for the
Scheduled caste sub plan till now. Table two indicates the
plan wise under allocations. Not only that despite the
Government Released A draft be for schedule cast sub
plan, Budgetary allocation in 2013-14 nancial year for the
sub plan under varies departments stands majer. Even
that meagerly earmarked funds have been diverted for
different purposes other than the development of
scheduled caste population. Every state government has
its own tale in this regards The situation in Andhra
Pradesh is also not different from that of the nation. Over
the last 19 years nearly 30, 000 crore of funds earmarked
for the development of scheduled castes in the state were
diverted for other purposes.. It is this context that
compelled the Kula Vivaksha Vyatireka Porata Sangham (
Organisation to ght the caste discrimination) drew the
public attention and mobilized public opinion on the need
of providing the constitutional guarantee for the

scheduled caste sub plan implementation way back in


2003 for the rst time. Since then, until 2007 the KVPS
and agricultural workers union conducted district level
conventions and before the budget presentation in 2007,
under the leadership of KVPS vice president B. V
Raghavulu, sat on indenite hunger fast along with 25
other KVPS leaders on the demand of proportionate
allocation of funds in the budget and creation of nodal
agency to over see the implementation of the sub plan in
the state. These demands draw widespread support and
solidarity from 380 NGOs and other dalit organizations.
Finally the agitation forced the government of Andhra
Pradesh to release a GO Ms. No. 117/ 2007 instituting a
nodal agency under the chairmanship of cabinet minister
for social welfare and also budgeted suitable funds for
Scheduled caste sub plan as well as Scheduled Tribes sub
plan.
After conduction wide spread consultations the KVPS
came to conclusion that to rectify the lacunae in the
implementation of sub plans, and to provide the
administrative directions, the executive orders are to be
shaped into a legislation and thus provide a legal sanctity
to the executive decisions. Unless they are backed by
legal mandate, the executive nds it easy to undermine
the need of the sub plan. On this demand, the KVPS along
with All India Agricultural Workers Union in Andhra
Pradesh conducted state wise multi-phased agitation
which was culminated in a Chalo Assembly program on
March 19, 2011 during the budget session of assembly.
The state government tried unsuccessfully its best to
disrupt the hunger strike camp by arresting and shifting
the leaders on fast to hospitals at midnights. The agitation
also witnessed a 35000 strong activists from all mass
organizations thronged state assembly which forced the
state government to send a delegation to hold discussions
Table 1

with the leaders who are on fast in hospitals. After the


negotiations, the Chief minister announced a sub
committee with intellectuals to look into the enactment
of SCSP/TSP legislation. Again, once the sub committee
submitted its report, the government sat on it for more
than one year which compelled the KVPS and agricultural
workers union to undertook one more phase of agitation
and also obtained the support of 59 SC/ST members of
legislative assembly and legislative council demanding the
discussion on the sub committee report in assembly.
Subsequent to this the chief minister announced on
March 27th 2012 that the government is going to
introduce a bill on SC, ST sub plans and appointed a
cabinet sub committee to set the process rolling and
nally the legislation came into existence in the beginning
of 2013.
The experience from Andhra Pradesh shows that unless
there is a widespread mass movements the government
is not ready to keep its own commitments. Though the
central government brought out a model bill in the lines of
legislation adopted by Andhra Pradesh, nothing moved
further. During the elections, from all those who comes
seeking our votes, we shall take a commitment that on
election, they shall work for enactment of SCSP / TSP
legislations in respective states as well as at the central
government level. To achieve that we need to organize
the dalits on two levels. One is educating them about the
advantages of the sub plan as well as the lack of
government commitment in implementation at one level
and at another level, need of nation wide mass
mobilization in achieving the legal right for sub plan funds.
Towards that we need to build a mass movement by
involving large number of like minded people who are
sympathetic to the dalit cause in India. All India
Agricultural Workers Union shall gear up to lead that mass
based wider movement.

Percentage of Scheduled Caste population to total population : 2001, 2011 Census


Percentage of SC Population 2001

Percentage of SC Population 2011

State

Rural

Urban

Total

Rural

Urban

Total

India

17.9

11.8

16.2

18.5

12.6

16.6

Jammu & Kashmir

8.3

6.3

7.6

8.2

5.1

7.4

Himachal Pradesh

25.6

16.6

24.7

26.0

17.8

25.2

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

17

Percentage of SC Population 2001

Percentage of SC Population 2011

State

Rural

Urban

Total

Rural

Urban

Total

Punjab

33.0

20.7

28.9

37.5

22.7

31.9

Chandigarh

16.0

17.7

17.5

17.2

18.9

18.9

Uttarakhand

19.9

12.0

17.9

21.3

13.0

18.8

Haryana

21.4

14.4

19.3

22.5

15.8

20.2

NCT of Delhi

19.9

16.7

16.9

19.6

16.7

16.8

Rajashtan

17.9

14.8

17.2

18.5

15.7

17.8

Uttar Pradesh

23.4

12.5

21.1

23.0

112.7

20.7

Bihar

16.4

10.0

15.7

16.6

10.4

15.9

Sikkim

5.0

5.5

5.0

4.4

5.2

4.6

Arunachal Pradesh

0.4

1.4

0.6

NSC

NSC

NSC

Nagaland

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

Manipur

1.3

6.8

2.8

2.7

5.9

3.8

Mizoram

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.1

Tripura`

17.2

18.3

17.4

16.1

22.6

17.8

Meghalaya

0.4

0.9

0.5

0.5

1.0

0.6

Assam

6.7

7.9

6.9

6.8

9.2

7.2

West Bengal

26.9

13.1

23.0

27.5

15.0

23.5

Jharkhand

12.4

10.0

11.8

12.6

10.5

12.1

Odisha

17.2

12.7

16.5

17.8

13.8

17.1

Chattisgarh

11.4

12.4

11.6

12.8

12.8

12.8

Madhya Pradesh

15.6

14.0

15.2

15.7

15.3

15.6

Gujrat

6.9

7.5

7.1

6.6

7.0

6.7

Daman & Diu

2.9

3.3

3.1

3.6

2.2

2.5

D&N Haveli

1.7

2.5

1.9

0.7

3.0

1.8

Maharashtra

10.9

9.2

10.2

12.2

11.4

11.8

Andhra Pradesh

18.4

10.2

16.2

19.2

10.7

16.4

Karnataka

18.4

12.0

16.2

20.0

12.6

17.1

Goa

1.0

1.9

1.8

1.7

1.8

1.7

Lakshadweep

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

Kerala

10.8

6.9

9.8

10.4

7.7

9.1

Tamil Nadu

23.8

12.9

19.0

25.5

14.2

20.0

Puducherry

270.2

10.7

16.2

27.9

10.1

15.7

A & N Islands

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

NSC

18

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

Agrarian crisis:
Irreversible impact on
agricultural labour
Kumar Shiralkar
The agrarian crisis in India badly impacts the agricultural
labour whose subsistence livelihood is mainly derived
from agriculture and its ancillary occupations. Though
these downtrodden sections of society were suffering
from multifaceted miseries that are historically loaded on
them, the recent crisis triggered by neo-liberal policies
had created unbearable conditions of life. As everybody
knows that since ancient times a signicant chunk of
people were prohibited from holding land and other
property rights. Though such rights belong to the
mundane earthly relations of production and
appropriation, the denial was imposed under the garb of
religious overtones. Even today, in some parts of the
country, dalits, nomadic tribes and some OBC
segments of population are not allowed to own, possess
and operate land thus accumulating perpetual
landlessness. The tribal communities in our country
denoted as Scheduled tribes primarily depend on forest
and forest land. Due to the onslaught of imperialist driven
pro-corporate economic and land policies, large tracts of
forest and forest land are being bestowed to big-business
depriving tribal communities. The callous reluctance of
the bureaucrats in the implementation of the forest rights
act that recognises and vests the rights of Scheduled tribes
and other traditional forest dwellers manifests the neoliberal mindset of the administration.
Even after Independence, the so-called land reform
policies implemented by the Central and various state
governments left unnished, except in few states like
Kerala, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir nowhere any
serious attempts were done to distribute the land to
landless and land-poor. On the contrary, the accumulation

and concentration of land of middle and marginal peasants


went on relentlessly as a result of capitalist path of
development during the successive governments. Due to
the successive governments adherence to the
prescriptions of WB, IMF and WTO, already skewed land
owning pattern has tilted against the poor and middle
peasants. Land policies over the last two decades
beneting neo-rich land maas, capitalist landlords and
corporates created new land monopolies. Authentic data
shows that 10 per cent of the population control over 55
per cent of the cultivable land while 60 per cent operates
only 5 per cent of the same. As per Agricultural Census
2010-11, small and marginal holdings of less than 2 hectare
account for 85 per cent of the total operational holdings
and 44 per cent of total operated area. The increasing
demand for conversion of agricultural land for nonagricultural uses is limiting the area available for
cultivation. The average size of operational holdings was
2.82 hectare in1970-71. It came down to 1.55 ha in 199091, then to 1.33 ha in 2000-01 and to 1.16 hectare in 201011. This is happening as an inescapable outcome of the
imperialist sponsored structural liberalism.
To grasp the true meaning of the agrarian crisis one has to
look into the burning problems and issues of landless
agricultural workers, other categories of rural wage
workers and poor-middle peasants. One of such
problems is ever-growing local unemployment and forced
migration. The rate of employment in agriculture has been
drastically declined during the last 20 years of neo-liberal
regime. The unabated mechanisation in agriculture has
played havoc in the lives of millions living in rural areas. Just
a cursory look on the number of machines used in
agriculture can give us an idea of the devastating picture.
The number of tractors used for agricultural purposes in
1982 was 4982 that rose to 22600 in 2003 and up to
December 2012 it touched to 419270 (16 tractors for
1000 ha). The number of combine harvesters in 1982 was
386 that augmented to 4073 in 2003 and mounted to
10000 in 2010. Fifty two per cent of Indias work force
(22.5 crore) is engaged in agriculture for its livelihood.
The average per annum wage increase in agriculture
AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

19

during 2001-2010 noted down in government documents


is 9 per cent compared to 6.3 per cent for industrial
workers. But the ination reected in Consumer Price
Index for agricultural workers stands at 694 and has
increased by 12.30 per cent in January 2012, the average
per annum increase during 2001-2012 being more than
10.5 per cent. That means in terms real wages, there is no
increase in agricultural labour wages, we can say.
Generally the arguments about the crisis in agriculture are
focussed on the rate of growth of agricultural output, the
comparative ratio of contribution of agricultural
production to GDP, the viability-protability-sustainability
of agricultural enterprise, the ever-augmenting cost of
inputs, the denial of remunerative prices for agricultural
produce, the decontrol of quantitative restrictions on
import, the sweeping reduction of import duties on
foreign agricultural products, the consistent trend of
declining public expenditure and investment in
agriculture-irrigation-rural development, shrinking
subsidies in agricultural, dearth of institutional credit for
agriculture and reliance on private moneylenders etc. All
the arguments put forth do contain a grain of truth though
the statistical acrobatics may pose counter arguments by
catering different numbers and gures. Let us not get lost
in these deliberate exchanges. Instead better we
concentrate our attention on the root causes and
consequences of this crisis on the health of toiling human
beings and natural resources.
The so-called economic reform policies and the
undertaken structural changes launched in 1990s and
continued by the UPA-II government vigorously are
challenging the fundamental foundation of the ecosystem. The advocates of nance capital driven free
market fundamentalism and ever-Green Revolution
(after 1960s rst Green Revolution) never tire to admire
the ever-growing use of untested GM seeds, chemical

20

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

fertilisers and pesticides. Many of those who oppose


these policies place their point of view chiey stating the
high prices of these input commodities, diminishing
subsidies and the consequent non-viable agricultural
occupation. The use of GM seeds had and having negative
impact on the employment in agriculture which is the
main source of livelihood for 1/3rd of population. We
should consciously avoid to get trapped in this type of
dispute. Our task must be to question the very necessity
of these harmful commodities. Our activity must revolve
to carefully delineate the irreversible impact on soil,
aquifers and the hazardous effects on environment and to
guide and direct the efforts to minimise them as well as on
employment potential. Awareness of the rural toiling
masses about the devastating effects of inorganic
chemicals has to be enhanced so that they would start
rethinking about the agricultural practices on the basis of
the traditional knowledge synchronised with the modern
pro-people scientic research.
The agricultural crisis is going to be aggravated by the twin
forces: one pushed by the protagonists of national and
multi-national proteers and the other by the natural
calamities: drought, ood, upheavals in climate changes
etc. But we know that the natural calamities do have a
primordial history and human beings have accustomed
and adapted to them. Our worry is how to cope with the
selshly added unnatural elements in natural calamities.
The answer to do away this worry lies in ghting against
the unnatural inhuman behaviour and prot-making
practices. This ght can only be waged by the conscious
creative agriculturists in rural India who are now being
trampled under the pro big-business policy makers. The
struggle should be supported and participated by the pro
people scientists, intellectuals and urban organised
working class to convey speedy socio-economic justice to
the vast majority of our populace.

ALL-INDIA CONSUMER PRICE INDEX NUMBERS FOR AGRICULTURAL AND


RURAL LABOURERS ON BASE 1986-87=100
September, 2013
The tables below give us an idea of how the lives and livelihood of agricultural labour is specically affected by the
price rise.
All-India Consumer Price Index Number (General & Group-wise)
Group

Agricultural Labourers

Rural Labourers

Aug., 2013

Sept., 2013

Aug., 2013

Sept., 2013

General Index

754

759

753

759

Food

747

751

748

752

Pan, Supari, etc.

1000

1004

1009

1013

Fuel & Light

827

837

824

834

Clothing, Bedding & Footwear

719

728

725

737

Miscellaneous

689

696

683

691

Number and Percentage of Population below poverty line by states-2004-05,2009-10 & 2011-12
(Tendulkar Methodology)
Total
2004-05

S.No States

% age of
Persons

No. of
Persons
(lakhs

Total
2009-10
% age of
Persons

Ttal
2011-12

No. of
Persons
(lakhs

% age of
Persons

No. of
Persons
(lakhs

Andhra Pradesh

29.6

235.1

21.1

176.6

9.20

78.78

Arunachal Pradesh

31.4

3.8

25.9

3.5

34.67

4.91

Assam

34.4

97.7

37.9

116.4

31.98

101.27

Bihar

54.4

493.8

53.5

543.5

33.74

358.15

Chhattisgarh

49.4

111.5

48.7

121.9

39.93

104.11

Delhi

13

19.3

14.2

23.3

9.91

16.96

Goa

24.9

3.4

8.7

1.3

5.09

0.75

Gujarat

31.6

171.4

23.0

136.2

16.63

102.23

Haryana

24.1

54.6

20.1

50.0

11.16

28.83

10

Himachal Pradesh

22.9

14.6

9.5

6.4

8.06

5.59

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

21

Total
2004-05

S.No States

% age of
Persons

No. of
Persons
(lakhs

Total
2009-10
% age of
Persons

Ttal
2011-12

No. of
Persons
(lakhs

% age of
Persons

No. of
Persons
(lakhs

11

Jammu & Kashmir

13.1

14.5

9.4

11.5

10.35

13.27

12

Jharkhand

45.3

132.1

39.1

126.2

36.96

124.33

13

Karnataka

33.3

186.5

23.6

142.3

20.91

129.76

14

Kerala

19.6

62

12.0

39.6

7.05

23.95

15

Madhya Pradesh

48.6

315.7

36.7

261.8

31.65

234.06

16

Maharashtra

38.2

392.4

24.5

270.8

17.35

197.92

17

Manipur

37.9

47.1

12.5

36.89

10.22

18

Meghalaya

16.1

4.1

17.1

4.9

11.87

3.61

19

Mizoram

15.4

1.5

21.1

2.3

20.40

2.27

20

Nagaland

8.8

1.7

20.9

4.1

18.88

3.76

21

Orissa

57.2

221.6

37.0

153.2

32.59

138.53

22

Puducherry

14.2

1.5

1.2

0.1

8.26

23.18

23

Punjab

20.9

53.6

15.9

43.5

14.71

102.92

24

Rajasthan

34.4

209.8

24.8

167.0

8.19

0.51

25

Sikkim

30.9

1.7

13.1

0.8

11.28

82.63

26

Tamil Nadu

29.4

194.1

17.1

121.8

14.05

5.24

27

Tripura

40

13.4

17.4

6.3

11.26

11.60

28

Uttar Pradesh

40.9

730.7

37.7

737.9

29.43

598.19

29

Uttarakhand

32.7

29.7

18.0

17.9

19.98

184.98

30

West Bengal

34.2

288.3

26.7

240.3

9.69

1.24

31

Andaman & Nicobar


island

0.11

0.4

0.01

1.00

0.04

32

Chndigarh

11.6

1.1

9.2

0.95

21.81

2.35

33

Dadra and Nagar

49.3

1.26

39.1

1.27

39.31

1.43

34

Daman and Diu

8.8

0.15

33.3

0.75

9.86

0.26

35

Lakshwadeep

6.4

0.04

6.8

0.04

2.77

0.02

All India

37.2

4072.2

29.8

3546.8

21.92

2697.83

22

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

Main Workers
Name

Total Main Marginal


Workers

Total Marginal Total Marginal +


MainPopulation

Dependant on Agriculture

Farmers

Agri Workers Workers

Farmers

Agri Workers Workers

Farmers

Agri Workers on Agriculture

A+D

B+E

Grand Total

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

12997

2680

15677

3570

2101

5671

16247

4781

21028

Andhra Pradesh

6087607

13201989

19289596

403915

3765765

4169680

6491522

16967754

23459276

Arunachal Pradesh

248120

20259

268379

54603

15912

70515

302723

36171

338894

Assam

3138554

903294

4041848

923073

942052

1865125

4041848

1845346

5887194

Bihar

5413181

9537418

14950599

1783045

8808231

10591276

1783045

27153880

28936925

Chandigarh

2169

1396

3565

409

291

700

2578

1687

4265

Chhattisgarh

3038094

2505999

5544093

966702

2585883

3552585

4004796

5091882

9096678

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

22707

6184

28891

5457

11615

17072

28164

17799

45963

Daman and Diu

1649

491

2140

667

281

948

2316

772

3088

Goa

24062

10758

34820

7292

16002

23294

31354

26760

58114

Gujarat

4746956

4491751

9238707

700544

2347664

3048208

5447500

6839415

12286915

Haryana

1963311

891273

2854584

517490

636860

1154350

2480801

1528133

4008934

Himachal Pradesh

919786

68668

988454

1142276

106370

1248646

2062062

175038

2237100

Jammu and Kashmir

566469

159519

725988

678847

388186

1067033

1245316

547705

1793021

Jharkand

2001362

1238774

3240136

1813470

3197278

5010748

3814832

4436052

8250884

Karnataka

6038309

5119921

11158230

542340

2036042

2578382

6580649

7155985

13736634

Kerala

544932

919136

1464068

125321

403714

529035

670253

1322850

1993103

Lakhshadeep

Madhya Pradesh

8214993

6630821

14845814

1629446

5561446

7190892

9844439

17753713

27598152

Maharashtra

11478075

11068928

22547003

1091298

2417212

3508510

12569373

13486140

26055513

Manipur

365712

43774

409486

92179

67287

159466

457891

111061

568952

Meghalaya

411270

114642

525912

83405

83722

167127

494675

198364

693039

Mizoram

202514

26464

228978

27089

15323

42412

229603

41787

271390

Nagaland

420379

22571

442950

117323

40391

157714

537702

62961

600663

NCT of Delhi

27759

31474

59233

5639

8001

13640

33398

39475

72873

Odisha

3279769

2420540

5700309

824220

4319453

5143673

4103989

6739993

10843982

Puducherry

10763

50607

61370

1336

17784

19120

12099

68391

80490

Punjab

1803860

1168021

2971881

130651

420434

551085

1934511

1588455

3522966

Rajasthan

9845353

2195304

12040657

3773517

2744360

6517877

13618870

4939664

18558534

Sikkim

82707

11582

94289

34694

14404

49098

117410

25986

143396

Tamil Nadu

3855375

7234101

11089476

393082

2372446

2765528

4248457

9606547

13855004

Tripura

246707

201863

448570

49240

151755

200995

295947

353618

649565

Utter Pradesh

15576415

9749915

25326330

3481473

10189308

13670781

19057888

19939223

38997111

Uttarakand

1045674

247256

1292930

534749

156045

690794

1580423

403301

1983724

West Bengal

4203767

5869498

10073265

912921

4319344

5232265

5116688

10188842

15305530

Total

95841357

86166871

182008228 22851283 58162962

81014245

118669264

144329833

262999097

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

23

Ination during the two terms UPA Government


COMMODITIES

Weight

4-Apr

9-Apr

13-Apr

ALL COMMODITIES

100

97.5

125

171.5

I PRIMARY ARTICLES

20.11815

97

140.8

228

(A) FOOD ARTICLES

14.33709

97.5

140.1

219.8

a. FOOD GRAINS (CEREALS+PULSES)

4.08982

96.7

154.7

216.5

a1. CEREALS

3.37323

96

152.9

213.1

b. FRUITS & VEGETABLES

3.8427

96.1

134.1

206.4

b1. VEGETABLES

1.73553

86.7

133.2

216.1

d. EGGS, MEAT & FISH

2.41384

97.5

126.9

253.8

e. CONDIMENTS & SPICES

0.56908

106.2

154.3

229.8

f. OTHER FOOD ARTICLES

0.18347

91.4

192.3

251.6

4.25756

100.5

128.3

209.7

a. FIBRES

0.87737

109.2

130.3

219.1

b. OIL SEEDS

1.78051

98.4

130.1

210.1

c. OTHER NON-FOOD ARTICLES

1.38642

98.7

116.6

210.2

d. FLORICULTURE

0.21326

92.9

181.9

164.3

1.5235

82

182.6

355

a. METALLIC MINERALS

0.48859

81.5

252.1

447.6

b. OTHER MINERALS

0.13463

98.9

140.9

217.6

c. CRUDE PETROLEUM

0.90028

79.8

151.2

325.3

II FUEL & POWER

14.91021

92.8

124.2

194.6

A.

COAL

2.09419

89.2

151

210.4

B.

MINERAL OILS

9.36439

90.8

125.2

214

C. ELECTRICITY

3.45163

100.4

105

132.4

III MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS

64.97164

98.6

120.2

148.7

(A) FOOD PRODUCTS

9.97396

98.2

126.5

165.8

a. DAIRY PRODUCTS

0.56798

101.4

126

176.3

b. CANNING, PRESERVING &


PROCESSING OF FOOD

0.35785

98.9

116.9

146.6

(B) NON-FOOD ARTICLES

(C) MINERALS

24

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

Ination during the two terms UPA Government


COMMODITIES

Weight

4-Apr

9-Apr

13-Apr

c. GRAIN MILL PRODUCTS

1.34017

97.5

130.4

165.5

d. BAKERY PRODUCTS

0.44354

99.2

114.8

133.6

e. SUGAR, KHANDSARI & GUR

2.08859

91

131

184.9

f. EDIBLE OILS

3.04293

101.1

114.2

145.2

g. OIL CAKES

0.49441

104.2

158.2

225

h. TEA & COFFEE PROCCESSING

0.71106

102.3

142.5

169.3

i. MANUFACTURE OF SALT

0.0481

99.8

165.3

185.4

j.OTHER FOOD PRODUCTS

0.87933

96.7

129.5

171.8

(B) BEVERAGES, TOBACCO &


TOBACCO PRODUCTS

1.76247

98.4

133.6

181.2

C ) TEXTILES

7.32639

100.1

102.9

133.6

(D) WOOD & WOOD PRODUCTS

0.58744

99

138.5

174

(E) PAPER & PAPER PRODUCTS

2.0335

99.4

116.5

140

(F) LEATHER & LEATHER PRODUCTS

0.83509

99.1

127.9

135.1

(G) RUBBER & PLASTIC PRODUCTS

2.98697

98.5

116.2

139.5

(H) CHEMICALS & CHEMICAL PRODUCTS

12.0177

97.9

116.2

145.8

c. FERTILIZERS & PESTICIDES

3.14464

99.4

108.2

147.6

f. DRUGS & MEDICINES

0.4561

99.8

112.5

125.5

g. PERFUMES, COSMETICS,
TOILETRIES ETC

1.13048

98.7

132.5

152.6

(K) MACHINERY & MACHINE TOOLS

8.93148

99.1

117.9

129.6

a. AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY &


IMPLEMENTS

0.13899

99

121.6

137.4

b. INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY

1.83759

98.3

130

147.4

g. ELECTRICAL MACHINERY,
EQUIPMENT &BATTERIES

2.34277

99.8

123.6

134.2

l. COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENTS

0.11821

100.2

95.8

93.7

(L) TRANSPORT, EQUIPMENT & PARTS

5.21282

99.3

116.9

132.4

1.38646

103.1

148.1

171.8

c. CEMENT & LIME

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

25

Consumer Price Index for Agricultural and


Rural Labour - An analysis
This table shows us the percentage of change in the price of food items and general ination,
showing who is hardest hit by the government policies in not regulating prices.
Weight

State

General

2005-06

2011-12

% of Change

Food

General

Food

General

Food

General

Food

All India

100

69.51

358

351

622

610

57.55

57.45

Andhra Pradesh

12.97

8.28

371

376

668

674

55.53

55.78

Assam

1.69

1.24

362

343

622

620

58.19

55.32

Bihar

11.38

8.66

347

338

552

521

62.86

64.87

Gujerat

5.2

3.55

369

377

627

649

58.85

58.08

Haryana

1.81

1.17

376

388

690

722

54.49

53.73

Himachal Pradesh

0.1

0.06

343

347

513

530

66.86

65.47

Jammu&Kashmir

0.26

0.19

359

365

608

642

Karnataka

6.67

4.37

341

333

665

674

52.46

49.40

Kerala

5.02

3.35

356

347

601

596

59.23

58.22

Madhya Pradesh

6.86

4.97

352

352

615

607

57.23

57.99

Maharashtra

9.96

6.46

368

372

691

719

53.25

51.73

Manipur

0.1

0.07

328

307

594

554

55.21

55.41

Meghalaya

0.13

0.1

382

371

633

631

60.34

58.79

Orissa

5.07

3.94

334

316

562

534

59.43

59.17

Punjab

3.02

1.85

380

394

685

716

55.47

55.02

Rajasthan

2.14

1.34

377

377

668

646

56.43

58.35

Tamil Nadu

8.47

5.83

355

327

605

542

58.67

60.33

Tripura

0.15

0.1

351

336

548

550

64.05

61.09

Uttar Pradesh

9.61

6.35

371

375

595

592

62.35

63.34

West Bengal

9.39

7.27

342

318

592

556

57.77

57.19

Source : The statistics are calculated basing on the planning commission data.

26

AIAWU | BULLETIN - OCTOBER - 2013

59.04

56.85

Govidan Master addressing the KSKTU Jatha

A. Vijayaraghavan ( staning photo on right side) addressing the gathering

KSKTU Rally

Women audience at a public meeting at Smalkha, Haryana

Suneet Chopra, Hannan Mollah on dias

Agricultural workers Rally in Agartala

Agricultural workers leaders on dias at Moradabad on


the occasion of UP State Conference

Maharashtra conference

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ALL INDIA AGRICULTURAL WORKERS UNION


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