Farmers being misguided: Modi on farm sector bills

New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Friday accused the Congress of attempting to mislead the farmers regarding farm-related bills and said he will allay all apprehensions raised by the farming community.

‘The new farm bills are revolutionary. No longer do my farmer brothers and sisters have to suffer having to sell only to a few. With the passing of these bills, they can now sell their produce to anyone they wish at the best price available to them. Farmers can sell their produce in any market in the country at the price they wish to,” Mr Modi said after dedicating Kosi Rail Mega Bridge through a video-conference.

In an apparent reference to the Congress, the Prime Minister said, “…..But the people who ruled this country for decades are attempting to mislead the farmers on this issue. They are lying to the farmers.”

The Lok Sabha, on Thursday passed through voice vote The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Opposition parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) opposed the bills on the grounds that they were “anti-farmer”. Minister of food processing industries and NDA ally Shrimoni Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned over the passage of these bills.

‘Agriculture bills passed by the Lok Sabha are protection shield for farmers. They’ll now have more options and opportunities to sell their produce. It was necessary to bring these to protect them from middlemen,’ Mr Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that the BJP-led NDA government is committed to providing to farmers the right price for their produce through the MSP system. ‘The government procurement will continue as before,’ he assured.

Mr Modi claimed that farmers are watching some people who are disliking the new opportunities being received by them. The PM said that if anybody has fulfilled the promise made to the farmers, then it is the present BJP-NDA government.

‘Through Pradhan Mantri Kisan Kalyan Yojana, nearly Rs 1,00,000 has been transferred in to the accounts of 10 crore farmers. Food processing centres and cold storage network are being set up across the nation,’ he mentioned.

The bills, along with the Essential Commodities (Amendment), will now be tabled in Rajya Sabha.

According to the government, the reforms will accelerate agricultural growth through private sector investment in building agricultural infrastructure and supply chains for Indian farm produce in national and global markets.

It said that the bills are aimed at creating employment opportunities and strengthening the economy. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the bills will not override Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts of the states.


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