The Bhartiya kissan Union on Wednesday distributed free potatoes as a mark of protest against demonetisation in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The district president of the Kisan Union, Harinam Verma spoke to reporters and said that although the farmers were not against demonetisation but asked as to where they should go with Rs 1000 in November and function in the sowing season. He said that it was therefore as a mark of protest that the farmers were distributing free potatoes and would also stage a protest later in the day. Verma urged the government to do something about the woes of the farmers.
The Reserve Bank of India on Monday announced that farmers were allowed to purchase seeds with the old denomination notes of Rs 500 from State or Cental government centres and outlets, PSUs, National or State Seeds Corporations,Central or State Agricultural Universities and the ICAR. The government had said that in order to further support farmers for the current rabi crop, the government has allowed farmers to purchase seeds with the old high-denomination banknotes of Rs 500 from the government centres on the production of proof of identity. This new measure was in addition to the decision to allow farmers to withdraw up to Rs 50,000 per week — R25,000 from their crop loan accounts and an equal amount from mandi payments received electronically in their accounts.
At the first pre-Budget consultative meeting held by finance minister Arun Jaitley with representatives of agriculture groups on Saturday, Consortium of Indian Farmers’ Association general secretary BD Rami Reddy had requested that farmers should be allowed to do use old notes to buy agricultural inputs until December 30. Farmers’ groups had also demanded to allow the purchase of fertiliser and pesticides using the old notes.