Amid row over Farm Bills, PM assures farmers that MSP system will continue

As protests over the Farm Bills passed by Voice Vote in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday amid high drama continue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has yet again assured farmers that there will be no change in the MSP regime.

I want to assure every farmer that the system of providing minimum support price (MSP) will continue as earlier, he said on Monday.

PM Modi said this after inaugurating nine infrastructure development projects for poll-bound Bihar, apart from the launch of “Ghar Tak Fibre” project which aims to provide internet connectivity to villages across the country through optical fibres, through video conferencing.

“I want to assure every farmer that the system of MSP will continue as it used to happen in the past. Likewise, as in every season, a campaign is run for buying produce by the government, that too will continue to run,” he said.

“The biggest proof of it is the figures for purchases made by the government during the past five years and the purchases made prior to five years before 2014. If I only talk about the oilseeds and pulses then the purchases by the government have increased by 24 per cent,” he added.

The Prime Minister further said that even during the coronavirus pandemic phase there was record purchase made by the government.

“For this year’s Rabi produce, including wheat, rice, oilseeds and pulses, the farmers were paid Rs 1 lakh 13 thousand crores in MSP. This figure is thirty per cent more than last year’s,” he pointed out.

PM Modi also spoke about how over the years a nexus had formed in the country which was reaping benefits from the hard work of farmers and was now trying to instigate them against the new reforms introduced by the Centre.

He also assured that these policies were not anti-Mandis and stated that his government was committed to their modernisation.

“The new agriculture reforms has given freedom to every farmer in the country to sell their produce anywhere. If he gets more profits in the mandi, he will sell it there. If apart from this he gets more profit anywhere else then he is not obstructed from selling them there too,” Modi said.

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“The earlier system of selling the produce, the laws which existed, had kept the farmers’ hands tied. Acting under the garb of these laws such powerful groups had formed in the country which have benefitted from farmers’ misery. How long should have this allowed to go on ?” he added.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram however questioned the Centre’s intent over the Farm Bills.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated nine infrastructure development projects, worth Rs 14,000 crores for Bihar.

He also inaugurated the “Ghar Tak Fibre Project” under which all 45,945 villages of Bihar will be connected through optical fibre internet service.

The Upper House witnessed unruly scenes on Sunday as Opposition members stormed the well and reached the deputy chairman’s seat to protest against the farm Bills debated and passed by the Upper House through voice vote.

(With ANI inputs)

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