Wednesday 28 October 2020

Modi: Farm bills will empower farmers

After the bill was cleared in Rajya Sabha on 20 September, Modi said the passing of the legislation was a “watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 September hailed the passage of the two contentious farm bills in the Rajya Sabha and congratulated all farmers. He was speaking at a virtual event after inaugurating ‘Ghar Tak Fibre’ scheme and other development projects in Bihar.

“These bills will empower farmers to freely trade their produce anywhere. I want to make it clear that these bills are not against the agriculture mandis. They were the need of the present hour and our government has brought this reform for the farmers. Farmers can sell their produce wherever they see more profit,” said PM Modi.

The Prime Minister reiterated his assurance regarding the system of minimum selling price (MSP) and said that it will continue unhindered. “I want to assure every farmer that the Minimum Support Price system will continue as before,” he said.

Addressing the nation, while laying down the foundation of nine highway projects in Bihar, Modi said, “Yesterday, two farm bills were passed in the Parliament. I congratulate my farmers. This change in the farming sector is the need of the present hour and our government has brought this reform for the farmers.” “The laws around produce and yield earlier had tied the hands of farmers. People were taking advantage of farmers — that’s why it was important to bring change in this situation,” Modi further said.

Eight opposition MPs — Trinamool Congress floor leader Derek O’Brien, the AAP’s Sanjay Singh, Congress leaders Rajeev Satav, Syed Nasir Hussain and Ripun Borah, CPI(M)’s KK Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem and Trinamool’s Dola Sen — were suspended from the Rajya Sabha for a week under Rule 256(2) on Monday for their “unruly behaviour” a day earlier.

The farm bills have triggered strong protests among farmers, especially in north India, who say the legislation will hurt their earnings but the government maintains that they will make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to big buyers. The opposition by farmer groups in Punjab and Haryana, is primarily to the first ordinance that allows sale and purchase of crops to take place outside state government-regulated APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandis.

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