As agitating farmers in Haryana continue to draw support even from the members of the ruling alliance, state BJP chief O P Dhankar Thursday claimed that the Opposition’s “lies” on the Centre’s farm reforms will be nailed during the upcoming crop procurement season beginning next week while Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala assured that the new Bills will not have any adverse effect on the mandi system.
Dhankar said the procurement of kharif crops will begin in Haryana and Punjab from October 1. “When procurement will go on smoothly, farmers will come to know the lies the Congress is spreading and realise that the reforms are for their benefit,” he said at a news conference here.
Dhankar also accused the Opposition of trying to “mislead” farmers at a time when reforms have been initiated in their “favour”.
“They told white lies that the MSP mechanism will be dismantled and the mandi system will break,” Dhankar, a former Haryana Agriculture Minister, said adding the farm Bills are not an alternative to the entire system but an option for some farmers to go for direct marketing.
He said currently a majority of farmers sell their crops in mandis at the MSP. “In Haryana, farmers who do direct marketing are nearly one lakh, of which 82,000 are connected with farmer producer organisations while 25,000 are progressive farmers. The condition is similar in other states and the reforms now give all farmers an option for direct marketing,” he said.
When asked about former MLAs, who had switched over to the BJP from the INLD before the October 2019 assembly polls, expressing some reservations, Dhankar said, “Today, they had a breakfast with me and appreciated the measures, saying these are in interests of farmers.”
Meanwhile, Farmers Welfare and Agriculture Minister JP Dalal said the time has come, when the farmers should become entrepreneurs. “The farmers will not only be able sell their produce within their state but can also sell in the mandis of other states. A farmer can sign e-contract with any person or bank for its produce under contract farming and will not be required to mortgage their land with the bank for crop loans,” he added.
Earlier, Deputy CM Chautala said that the crops of the farmers will be purchased at MSP. He said even during the Corona pandemic, the state government purchased the crops of the farmers in a systematic manner and deposited money directly into their ’ account. He reiterated that every single grain of farmers’ crops would be purchased at MSP. “The government has raised the MSP of rabi crops to the extent that the said Bills will not affect it in any way,” he added.
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