Hasmukh Patel, Lok Sabha MP from Ahmedabad East, said that the three farmers bills passed by the Parliament in the monsoon session were in the interest of farmers and that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 that permits sale of agricultural produce outside mandis regulated by APMCs was meant to break existing cartels.
“Due to the monopoly of the APMCs, the cess charged by APMCs increased, commissions increased and above all that, a cartel was formed between APMCs and traders which led to lower prices being quoted for farmer’s produce,” said Patel who addressed media persons at the BJP office in Khanpur alongside Kirit Solanki, Lok Sabha MP from Ahmedabad West constituency.
Talking about the protests by farmers in states like Punjab where BJP’s ally Shiromani Akali Dal walked out of the NDA alliance, Patel said, “It is interesting to understand why the farmers in Haryana and Punjab are protesting so much. More than 35 per cent of the country’s total production of wheat and paddy is produced in these two states…. as per the laws there, buyers have to pay 3 per cent of rural development tax of the government, three per cent APMC cess and 2.5 per cent commission. So a buyer has to pay 8.5 per cent as taxes and the burden of these taxes come on the farmers. The farmers in those states are financially under pressure of traders and commission agents of the APMCs.”
Patel said that the new Bill will help introduce competition among buyers of agricultural produce. Both the Lok Sabha MPs batted for the other two Bills — The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
“The three bills empower and protect farmers,” Patel added. Solanki alleged that the Congress was misguiding farmers across the country and so the BJP was going to the farmers including those in Gujarat to explain the advantages of these Bills which have now become law.
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