Lok Sabha passes two agriculture bills; Narendra Tomar says MSP will stay

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar speaks in Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament in New Delhi.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday urged opposition parties not to politicise the two agriculture-related bills aimed at boosting the income of farmers and said minimum support price (MSP) will stay.

"Rajneeti ka chasma uatar kar kisan ka chasma laga lo (take off political spectacles, see from point of view of farmers)," he said during his reply in the Lok Sabha to the debate on two bills.

His remarks came after the party's ally SAD opposed the two bills.

Tomar told ANI that the two bills will revolutionise the lives of farmers. He said that farmers were "chained to" agriculture markets but now they will have the freedom to sell their produce.

"Congress has always mentioned such reforms in its election manifesto but never had the courage to pursue them. Modiji has liberated the farmers, I congratulate everyone for this," he said.

"Few people have opposed it for sheer political reasons. Under the leadership of PM Modi, poor and farmers are being taken care of. Congress too have said such things in its manifestos. The Modi government took a decision. MSP will stay, I want to assure all of you," he added.

The minister said agriculture ordinances were promulgated in June and were being implemented.

"I want to thank those who supported and those who didn't."

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 is aimed at developing a national framework for farming agreements to empower farmers through networking with agribusiness firms, exporters and retailers.

The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to give farmers choice to sell their produce at competitive prices anywhere. The Essential Commodities ( Amendment) Bill , 2020 was passed by the House earlier.

The minister said that the bill ensures welfare of farmers and time period for payment has been clearly stipulated.

"There is an agreement but it is mainly to favour farmers. In case of a dispute we have arranged for a speedy resolution," he said.

"Farmers land is protected. But the agreement would be binding and stringent towards businessmen. If a businessman does fraud, he could be penalised. He has to respect the agreement. This agreement will be done before sowing," he added.

The minister told the House that there would be no tax on the sale of the produce. "The state APMC tax is 2 to 8.5 per cent. If this sale purchase happens outside mandis, there would be no tax and direct benefit will be of farmer," he said.

Members of Congress, RSP and DMK staged a walk as Lok Sabha passed the bills.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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