Accusing the opposition Congress of “misleading” the farmers on new farm laws Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday claimed that the reforms were in the larger interest of the farm community and assured the farmers that the MSP regime will continue.
“Today, demand is being raised to bring MSP under the Act. The Congress remained in power at the Centre as well as the state on different occasions between 1966 (when Haryana was carved as a separate state) to 2014. Why did it not bring any Act to give a legal guarantee to MSP? The Congress is misleading the farmers for its vested interests,” Khattar said.
While assuring the farmers that MSP regime will continue, Khattar said that the new farm laws are in the larger interest of farmers and the “positive impact” of these reforms in the agriculture sector will be visible in the near future. “Efforts are being made to ensure that farmers earn income of minimum Rs one lakh per acre,” he added.
He was addressing farmers at the “Progressive Farmers Conference and Discussion on Agriculture Acts” organised by the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department and the Haryana State Agriculture and Marketing Board (HSAMB) in Karnal.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Khattar said that if the opposition party is truly a well-wisher of the farmers, it should ask its governments in Rajasthan and Punjab to purchase bajra, sunflower seeds and moong on MSP as is already being done in Haryana. “This time the Haryana government has also decided to purchase maize on MSP in the state,” he added.
The chief minister said upon his initiative the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has agreed to procure 100 per cent cotton from Haryana on fulfilling the permissible parameter of moisture content up to 12 per cent. Earlier, only 25 per cent cotton was being purchased by the CCI from the state, he added.
Khattar said agriculture and farmers form the basis of all welfare policies and programmes of the Central and state governments. He said the new farm laws will give farmers the freedom to sell their crop anywhere.
The chief minister said as land holdings in the state are continuously shrinking, schemes are being prepared to assist those farmers who have small land holdings and are completely dependent on agriculture by encouraging them to venture into agro-allied activities like dairy farming, bee-keeping, fisheries etc so that their income could be increased. Apart from this, such farmers would also be provided guidance for the marketing of their produce, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister J P Dalal said the Congress has no concerns for the welfare of farmers. “During their tenures, the Congress governments, be it at the Centre or in the state, did nothing to safeguard farmers’ interests and never paid any heed to their concerns.”
Meanwhile, Khattar said after consultation with the arhtiyas and farmers, it has been decided that those farmers who want payment through arhtiyas would be given payment through arhtiyas and those who intend to get their payment through bank, the amount would be deposited into their bank accounts. It has also been decided to increase the number of VITA booths in the state from 700 to 4,000. Apart from milk, fresh fruits and vegetables would also be made available on these booths.
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