After the opposition parties and an NDA ally Akali Dal raised objected to the farm sector reform bills passed by the Modi government, Prime minister Modi on Friday addressed the nation to clarify the matter.
In the ongoing parliament session, the Lok Sabha passed three agriculture-related bills. The bills on Agriculture market reforms and Contract farming provisions were passed on Thursday, while one bill amending the Essential Commodities Act was passed on Tuesday.
After the bill was passed, Akali Dal’s lone representative in the central govt, union agriculture minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from her post in protest. The Congress party, which itself had promised the reformed in its election manifesto, is also protesting against the bills.
Prime minister Narendra Modi today launched several development projects in Bihar through video conferencing. During his address, he also elaborated on the reforms to the farm sector brought by the union govt through the 3 bills. He said that yesterday was a historic day for the nation, when the farm reform bills were passed on the day of Vishwakarma Puja.
“These bills have released our annadata farmers from many restrictions. Famers will have more options to sale their produce”, the PM said. He said that it was very important to bring these bills to remove the middlemen between the farmers and consumers, who take away a major portion of the income of farmers. The Acts have come as a protection shield for the farmers.
Referring to opposition to the reforms, the prime minister said that political parties are lying to the farmers to mislead. ‘Before elections they make big promises to farmers, put it in their manifestos, but they forget it after the elections. And when the same reforms, which were there in the manifestos of those who had ruled the country for decades, are brought by the NDA government, they are creating illusion about it’, the PM said.
PM Modi said that the now these people are doing politics on AMPC reforms, opposing the changes in agricultural marketing, but these same changes were promised by the same parties in their election manifestos. When the NDA government has implemented these reforms, these people are indulging in spreading lies and misinformation, Modi said slamming the opposition.
He said that it is another example of opposing for the sake opposing, but they are forgetting that the farmers can see that they are not agreeing to the new opportunities being made available to the farmers.
The PM said that claims that govt will not pay MSP (minimum support price) to farmers, and that govt will stop buying grains like rice and wheat from farmers after the reforms, is a blatant lie. “Our government is committed to pay the right price through MSP the farmers, we were committed earlier, now, and will remain in future too”, he said. The PM also assured that government purchase will continue as past.
Illustrating how restrictive the AMPC regime was, the PM said that while people engaged in other professions, like those make garments, utensils, shoes etc can sale them anywhere in the world as per their choice, only the farmers had not given this right under the previous laws, and they were forced. But now they will be able to sale their produce anywhere in the country at their chosen price.
PM Modi said that Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who was present in the virtual meeting, knew how restrictive APMC was for farmers, and he had removed the law from Bihar when he had become CM many years ago. What Bihar had done earlier is now being followed by entire India, he added.
The prime minister appealed the farmers to not trust such people who had ruled the country for decades and are now telling lies to the farmers. They want to keep farmers tied to several restrictions, they are taking the side of middlemen, and the farmers should be aware of them, he said.
After the bills were passed in Lok Sabha yesterday, the PM had tweeted about them stressing on their importance. He had said that the bills will release farmers from middlemen, and will give them newer opportunities to sale their produce. He had also tweeted that the agriculture sector will be benefited by technology, and this will empower the farmers. Refuting the lies spread by the Congress party, he had tweeted saying that the MSP and govt procurement of grains will continue as earlier. This bill gives farmers several other options which will empower them in true sense, he had added.