Farm Bills | New reforms are road to 21st century India, says Modi


Farmers will have more options to sell their produce anywhere in the country, according to PM.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asserted that the new farm reform Bills passed in Parliament were “historic” and the road to 21st century India.

He also said that earlier agriculture laws had chained farmers of the country and middlemen were taking advantage of those archaic laws but now, through the reforms, new freedom was given to the farmers of the country who “will have more options to sell their produce anywhere in the country”.

“They [farmers] can sell their produce either in local mandis [markets] or beyond”, said Mr. Modi.

 

“Farmers are selling potatoes and their mustard produce at 20-25% higher price in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and other States”, he added.

Making an oblique reference to the protest of Opposition parties against the new farm Bills passed in Parliament on September 20, Mr. Modi said, “Some people are protesting against these reform Bills because control of farmers from their hands have slipped away”.

On MSP

“These people [those opposing the farm bills] are also misleading farmers on MSP [Minimum Support Price]…but I want to make it clear that MSP will continue to function like before…on MSP, our government has done so much that was not done by earlier ones”, said Mr. Modi.

While comparing the farmers with the dairy business, the PM said, “Like in dairy business, people sell their milk while having ownership on cattle, through new farm laws, farmers of the country too will only sell their produce but not lose ownership of their lands and farms”.

 

“Over 85% farmers in the country are marginal farmers and through these new farm laws, their income will increase…these farm laws are in the interest of the farmers”, he pointed out.

Mr. Modi also explained that these farms laws were not against the krishi mandis (local agricultural markets). “The krishi mandis will continue to work like before. “Rather, computerisation of the offices of krishi mandis is being done”, he said.

Projects inaugurated

On the occasion, Mr. Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for several road and high speed optical fibre internet projects worth several thousand crores of rupees through video-conference in Bihar.

“Through these roads and high speed internet connectivity, farmers of the country too will be benefited and our efforts for the country’s prosperity will continue”, he said.

 

This was Mr. Modi’s fifth inauguration and foundation-laying programme for projects in poll-bound Bihar. On September 23, he is scheduled to address the sixth and last such function.

Opposition’s criticism

Earlier on Saturday, while taking a dig at Mr. Modi for rolling out a slew of development projects and schemes in poll-bound Bihar, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Tejashwi Yadav had said, “Grandiose PR [public relations] exercises are a poor substitute for governance…such exercises are to lure voters in poll-bound Bihar”.

“The new farm laws are nothing but corporatisation of agriculture sector”, he added. “These laws will strip farmers of their financial security net which was safeguarded by provisions like procurement and MSP”, he said.

“Bihar wants to know the outcome of ₹1.65 lakh crore package which PM Modi had announced during 2015 State Assembly election campaign…Biharis know who are the best overrated salesman — high on promises, low on delivery”, charged Mr. Yadav.

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