Anil Ghanwat is the current President of Swatantra Bharat Party. He is also a significant thought leader in liberalism.
Interview dated 27 August 2020: Policies are responsible for poverty of farmers, India: Anil Ghanwat
Do you fear that the budget allocations might not fit to make reforms on ground?
Yes, it is felt that the government will allocate more for NREGA, MSP, etc. rather than for the real reforms. The kind of submissions made by different farmers’ groups to the government last month in preparation for the Budget shows that none of them are foreseeing meaningful reforms, but only band-aids.
What about Shetkari Sangathna’s agitation for genetically modified (GM) crops?
Approve Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) brinjal and GM mustard. Since all regulatory steps have been completed. Allow trails and research in genetically modified seeds.
You spoke about unnecessary intervention by the government on the price rise episodes and other measures? What can we expect this year?
Stop interfering with import and export of agriculture products. So that the farmers and traders have a stable trading environment, and fixed and predictable pricing.
What will be your take for input credit reimbursement on agriculture products?
It is clear and simple. Every agriculture input for which the GST is charged, which a farmer buys, should be refunded to the farmer.
MSP has been in regular spotlight. What are you expecting this year?
I strongly believe that policymakers should phaseout MSP over a two-year period, instead of price support, provide direct income support. MSP is distorting grain market and the government has to buy unnecessary stock with sparse infrastructure to hold it.
How about your quick view on various subsidies in different form?
This should be phasing out agriculture input subsidies, and liberalise manufacture and trade in such inputs. Convert input subsidy to direct income support for farmers.