Farmers are opposing these bills. How do you plan to convince them that the bills are in their favour?
We are committed to farmers. If they have any confusion, they can approach me any time and I am there to clarify them. These bills will change their fortune.
Is there any truth behind allegations that MSP and mandi system will go away after the enactment of these bills?
MSP has nothing to do with these bills. MSP will continue to be there and so are mandis in states. We are just trying to provide farmers alternate marketing channels to mandis where they had been selling their produce for so many years. Even after the enactment of bills farmers will be free to sell their produce in mandis if they want. Opening up of farm trade will make mandis and trade more competitive and efficient.
If these bills are beneficial for farmers, why is there such hue and cry over it?
I feel bad that political parties are playing petty politics over farmers. Had they been concerned about farmers, the condition of farmers would have been much better in 70 years. In Rajya Sabha yesterday, I thought some good points will emerge out of discussions but every one talked only politics, no one from the Opposition spoke for farmers in the house. I am appalled to see the unruly behaviour of leaders in the Upper House.
Your government has been in power for last six years. How have farmers benefitted?
The income of farmers has gone up during the Modi government. We have implemented Swaminathan Commission report which recommends determination of MSP by adding 50% profit to the cost of cultivation. If we compare payment to farmers at MSP during 2009-14 and 2014-2019, there has been multifold increase in the payment. During last five years, rice farmers have been paid Rs 4.95 lakh crore as against Rs 2.06 lakh crore paid during 2009-14. Similarly, wheat farmers have been paid Rs 2.97 lakh crore as against 1.68 lakh crore during 2009-14. The payment for pulses procurement has also gone up by 75 times to Rs 49,000 crore during 2014-19. This year we have paid Rs 1.13 lakh crore to farmers against the procurement of rice, wheat, oilseeds and pulses, which is 31% more than last year.
People say that big corporates will exploit farmers in contract farming. How will you ensure that farmers interests are safeguarded?
Farmers will have full power to decide the price before they enter into any contract with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters etc. It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the corporate or whomsoever they enter into contract with. The ownership of land will be essentially with farmers only. Sale, lease or mortgage of farmers’ land is totally prohibited and farmers’ land is also protected against any recovery. In case if any dispute, both the parties can settle within 30 days with SDM court ruling out long drawn court cases.
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6 Comments on this Story
Puthumbaka Raghu Kumar118 days ago
These reforms are unlikely to help small and marginal farmers who constitute majority. They help only rich farmers with large holdings.
SHYAMLAL GAUD118 days ago
Aam janta of this country has very good experience of six years of Modi Government and also knows what the has done during last 6 years. The way of working of this Gonernment is very uniqe, it acts first and thinks later nad whatever it does and generally it results in disaster. So there is 100% guarantee that farmers will also not get anything despite their hard work and the bill will result in loss of income unless a guarantee clause is added in the bill to ensure that the farmers get MSP for their product.
Sandeep Sharma118 days ago