Chandigarh, June 8, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Flaying the Central government for approving the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020, PPCC president Sunil Jakhar said that this is not a reform but a conspiracy to make farmers dependent on corporate houses.
These so-called reforms were in line with recommendations of the Shanta Kumar Committee report prepared by a former BJP CM, which were to dismantle MSP and FCI eventually. He said that the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, Cabinet Minister Harsimrat Badal and Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal, all three in unison, had termed the recently promulgated 3 new ordinances as beneficial for farmers and more specifically for Punjab farmers.
The trio had said that Minimum Support Price (MSP) started by the Congress party will continue. However, this statement is deceiving and hides more than it reveals. BJP & Akali Dal are in the process of diluting it. The continuation of MSP does not guarantee that the existing system of open ended procurement will continue. “Instead of adopting a rational approach for farmers, the trio was lauding the central govt for anti-farmer ordinances, Jakhar resented.
Congress leader said that instead of replicating Punjab’s successful model of agriculture mandis across India, the central government had now allowed marketplaces without regulation where 15 crore farmers will sell their produce.
The new ordinances in the name of giving the farmers an opportunity to sell anywhere in the country, allow for produce to be purchased by traders outside the mandi, where the state government will not be allowed to regulate and collect fees for rural development.
Bihar had abolished APMC Act 10 years ago and farmers there had to sell their crop below-MSP . Claiming that Punjab delivered approximately 300 Lakh Metric Tonnes of grains to the central pool, he said that implications of these historically tragic announcements on Punjab will be disastrous and we fear that the Central Government will end the lifting of every grain brought by the farmer to the mandi as ensured by state govt. Central government agencies in near future were more likely to only procure about 100 quintals of Wheat or 125 quintals of Paddy per farmer under MSP.
The farmers will be forced to sell the remaining produce to traders at lower prices. Also, the Central govt will begin to procure from outside the APMC mandis and through corporate houses. Consequently, Punjab will lose approx. Rs. 5,000 Crore of revenues.
Without Mandi fees collection, Punjab will not be able carry rural development work. Rather than deceiving by merely stating ‘MSP will continue’, we demand PM Modi promises categorically that the present system of procurement at MSP by FCI in Government notified mandis for wheat and Paddy will remain unchanged, Jakhar said.
On recently announced just 3 percent increase in MSP for Paddy, Jakhar said that CACP report on which this MSP is based, had projected increase in expenses for agricultural inputs for the coming crop season by about 5.1%. It appears that Central govt was determined to keep hurting financial interests of farmers, he added.