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Three Farm Bills Before Parliament, Keeping In Mind Farmers' Welfare: BJP President Nadda

BJP national president JP Nadda said on Wednesday that the three ordinances related to agriculture were introduced keeping in mind the welfare of farmers.

JP Nadda

BJP national president JP Nadda said on Wednesday said that the three ordinances, Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, Farmers' Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance Ordinance tabled in the Monsoon session of Parliament are for the welfare of the farmers.

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'Attracting greater investment'

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday which was the second day of the Monsoon session. Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Danve while replying to the debate in the house said the government had announced an ordinance to amend the Essential Commodities Act 1955 which said that the supply of agricultural foodstuff as is notified by the Central Government shall be regulated only under extraordinary circumstances and any action for imposing stock limit shall be based on price rise, subject to the conditions and exclusions specified therein.

"The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act will ensure the supply chain will be established for vegetables and fruits. Agriculture will attract greater investment due to this amendment". In the current perspective, to boost investment in agriculture this bill will play an important role. Due to corona crisis, there was a possibility of a rise in prices of food products due to disruption in transport and supply chain of food products but our government did not allow that to happen," he said.

The bills have been brought in the parliament amid heavy criticism and apprehension from farmer community. Leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday met Nadda in Delhi and urged him that the Centre address farmers' concerns over three farm bills and also sought that the proposed legislation be sent to a Parliamentary committee.

The SAD, which is part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), had appealed last week to the Centre not to present the three farm ordinances for approval in Parliament until “all reservations” expressed by farmers are "duly addressed”.

"We have said (in the meeting) since there is a misgiving in the minds of farmers over these bills, it is important that this issue be addressed. The farmers feel this (farm bills) is anti-farmer,” Gujral had told reporters.

“You people (BJP) think you have the best interest of farmers in mind, but the perception in Punjab, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan and UP is totally different. So the best way would be to send this (these bills) to the joint select committee which will then consult with all the stakeholders,” he further said.

Protests were held in Punjab and Haryana against the three farm ordinances introduced by the Centre and the farmers have been demanding rollback of these ordinances. Farmers have expressed apprehension that these three ordinances would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system and they would be at the “mercy” of big corporates.

(With inputs from agencies)

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