Bank unions extend support to protesting farmers
Multiple bank unions have extended their support to the farmers protesting against the three new agri-marketing laws that were recently passed by the Centre, and urged the government to find a solution on the issue at the earliest.
The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) in a statement requested the government to come forward and resolve the issues and the demands of the farmers in theis, as well as the nation’s, interest.
Officer unions All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) and Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC), too, have asked the Centre to initiate a substantial dialogue to resolve the impasse by referring the bills to a select committee by a special Presidential Order.
Farmers say that the three new farm laws -- Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 -- would result in the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the ‘mercy’ of industrialists.
The government, however, portrays them as major reforms in the farming sector that will remove the middlemen and enable agriculturists to sell their products anywhere in the country.
“Our nation needs peace and main stakeholders of the nation should not be made to suffer, as the agriculture sector alone performed positively in the COVID-19 pandemic, which reflects the inherent strength of the sector,” the three unions said in a joint statement.
Farmers constitute 80 per cent of the customer base of the public sector banks, regional rural banks, co-operative banks and old generation private banks and thus are major stakeholders of India's banking system, it said.