Why farmer income did not increase under your rule: BJP attacks Congress

Asserting that farmers have been waiting for justice for the last 70 years, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Bhupender Yadav on Sunday attacked the Congress party for opposing the agriculture Bills in Rajya Sabha and asked the party why the income of hard-working farmers was not increased when Congress was in power.

"I want to ask why has rural income reduced in the years you (Congress) were in power...Why are you opposing these Bills?, Yadav said in Rajya Sabha while supporting the agriculture Bills brought by the central government.

"When the country got independence, the income ratio in urban and rural areas was 2: 1. Unfortunately, due to policies brought by your party that today the income ratio in urban and rural areas is 7: 1. You should answer why this rural income has decreased. I want to ask you, why the salaries of hard-working farmers did not increase when the agriculture sector record growth ?," he added.

Yadav further said that farmers were "waiting for justice for the last 70 years" and "these Bills will bring reforms in the agriculture sector".

"We have to think that when we are producing so many crops why do we have the facility of food processing of only 5 per cent of the world. There is a need to increase to do value addition in the farming sector and increase the income of farmers," he said.

"We have made the boards for fisheries and livestock. Our government aimed to invests Rs 1 lakh crore in the agriculture sector and worked towards it. We have built infrastructure, improved irrigation systems and helped farmers. We bring this Bill to help farmers," he added.

The statements came after Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two agriculture Bills in the Upper House.

These Bills are -- Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. Both of them were passed by the Lower House with a voice vote a couple of days back.

Moving the Bills, the Minister said, "The two Bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. They will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country. I want to assure the farmers that these Bills are not related to Minimum Support Price."

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 permits the electronic trading of farmers' produce and allows the setting up transaction platforms for facilitating direct online buying and selling of farm products.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. A guaranteed price to be paid for the purchase of farming produce will be mentioned in such agreements.

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