Alleging that the farm bills introduced by the NDA government would cause great injustice to farmers in the country, TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Saturday asked the MPs of his party to vote against them in the Rajya Sabha.
All the three agriculture ordinances ––– The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, have been passed in the Lok Sabha earlier this week. These are listed to be taken up for discussion and passing in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.
Observing that the bills would benefit corporates and hurt farmers, Rao told the TRS parliamentary party leader K Keshav Rao to strongly oppose them in the Upper House of Parliament.
“Chief Minister Sri K Chandrasekhar Rao said that the Farmers and farming related Bills introduced by the Centre in Parliament would do a lot of injustices to the farm sector in the country. The CM has instructed TRSPP Leader Dr K Keshav Rao to oppose the Bills tooth and nail in the Parliament, as it would benefit the Corporates and adversely impact the farmers,” PTI quoted an official release as saying.
The bills apparently say that the farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country, but, in reality, they would enable the traders to go anywhere in the country to buy the produce, Rao said. Even as the government at the Centre says that the farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country, is it possible for the farmers to take their small produce to other places, incurring heavy transport charges, he asked.
“These Bills are nothing but a sugar-coated pill. This should be opposed at all costs,” the CM said.
Rao further said now there is 50 per cent import duty on corn and that the Centre has decided to reduce it by 15 per cent. The Centre wanted to import one crore tonnes of corn, out of which 70 lakh tonnes of corn had already been purchased, he claimed.
“For whose benefit, 35 per cent of import duty was reduced? When the country is going through economic crisis how did they take such a decision? Corn is cultivated in a big way in the country. If we reduce the import duty on corn, what will happen to our own corn producers?” he asked.
Rao said the bills “should be opposed and voted against in the Rajya Sabha” as they would result in huge losses to the agriculture sector and are against the farmers’ interests.
TRS has seven members in the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier, Union minister Harsimrat Badal had resigned from the Cabinet over the three contentious farm bills, signaling an unusually strong stand taken by her party Shiromani Akali Dal, a long-time ally of BJP. Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal had said the party was never consulted on the ordinances, and that Harsimrat, his wife, had told the government about farmers’ reservations.
Farmers in Haryana and Punjab have been agitating against the ordinances/Bills. The party voted against the Bills in Lok Sabha.
With PTI inputs
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