Only middlemen, not farmers, in Punjab against farm laws: Union Minister

Topics farmer protests | Punjab | farmers

Farmers block railway track as they stage a protest against Farms bills, in Bathinda

: It is only agents or middlemen

in agricultural marketyards in Punjab who are agitating against the new farm laws as they tend to lose crores of rupees as commission with the new legislations, not farmers, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Monday.

Reddy said the new farm laws will ensure that farmers are not exploited by anyone and allow them to sell their produce wherever they get a good price.

His comments come even as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is holding a series of tractor rallies named 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' across Punjab to protest the Centre's new farm laws.

"These are not anti-farmers bills.There is only political opposition to these bills.Nowhere farmers are participating (in the protests). Even in Punjab, only agents in mandis (marketyards) are doing it.

They get huge commissions.They get hundreds and thousands of crores of rupees as commission from farmers in the form of various cesses.Now the middlemen will go away with this laws," Reddy told reporters.

He said these new laws are part of the reforms being brought out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the welfare of farmers.

"Congress, Communists and some other regional parties are undertaking malicious campaigns against the new laws," he said.

According to Reddy, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi then admitted that if the Centre releases Rs 100 to poor people, only Rs 15 reached them.

"Today Narendra Modi wants every rupee of the Rs 100 should reach the poor peoples bank accounts," he said.

According to Reddy, the aim of the new laws is to remove middlemen for agricultural produce so that farmers are benefitted.

The Minister of State for Home said there was never any attempt to undermine Minimum Support Price (MSP) with the promulgation of the ordinance and subsequent law.

"MSP will be efficiently implemented by this government. If farmers do not get good market price, the centre will purchase their produce by paying MSP," he said drawing a parallel between MSPs during UPA and NDA rule.

President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which were passed by Parliament last month.

(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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