The Left parties on Thursday opposed the ordinances being promulgated by the Centre to deregulate agriculture sector, saying they would create artificial shortages of commodities.
While the CPI(M) stated that these proposals will only help “middlemen, traders and financial intermediaries who will squeeze both the producer, farmer and the consumer”, CPI general secretary D Raja said the government’s argument that the amendments will benefit farmers was misleading. “This will benefit only traders, not farmers and consumers,” he said.
The CPI(M) said the amendments will “pave the way to create artificial shortages due to speculation by middlemen and traders adversely affecting the country’s food security”.
“Licences for electronic trading will pave the way for speculative forward trading in all agricultural commodities. These open the way for entry of big multinational agro-business and domestic corporates to freely access India’s agricultural produce and markets,” it said. “This is a recipe for the total destruction of whatever little of the public distribution system that is left.”
CPI’s Raja said the ordinance will give freedom to traders and corporations to hoard and create artificial shortages and sell commodities at high prices—squeezing both farmers and consumers.