Despite passage of two farm Bills, the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism will continue to remain in place, Union Agriculture Minister Narender Singh Tomar reiterated on the floor of Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Tomar said that the Congress-led UPA government allocated Rs 12,000 crore for agriculture ministry, and “now Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allocated Rs 1,34,000 crore”.
He said: “That is the kind of priority this government gives to farmers…the law is going to bring revolutionary changes in the life of the farmer…until now, the farmer was chained to the mandi to sell his produce. Through the passage of this Bill, he will have complete independence.”
Tomar highlighted that 86 per cent of small farmers will benefit from the law and will get better prices for their produce. “The creation of the law will result in a significant increase in competition – private investment will reach villages, the agriculture infrastructure will be built and employment opportunities generated,” he said.
Taking on the Congress for not implementing the Swaminathan committee recommendations on MSP, the minister said: “The UPA, in its 10 years, didn’t approve Swaminathan recommendations. The Modi government ensured that MSP is increased by 1.5 times, and purchase will continue to be based on MSP. Agriculture will prosper – the law will not increase the income of corporates but will increase farm income.”
Tomar maintained that the licence to sell in any market will end the licence raj. “Competition will increase in the market. The farmer will reap the benefits. Licence raj, inspector raj, and corruption will end, as farmers can sell (their produce) in any part of the country,” he said.
The minister said the proposed law will ensure that money is transferred to the farmer within a stipulated three days. “Some are protesting on the e-NAM platform. Like the gas (LPG) subsidy, or the PM Kisan (scheme), there will be zero leakage,” Tomar said.
“On this platform, 1,000 mandis were joined and Rs 35,000 crore (worth of farm produce) was traded. More platforms will be created for trading. The law will ensure that the farmer gets his money within three days.”
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