‘Will challenge farm bills in Supreme Court’: Punjab finance minister
Badal said the three bills make no mention of minimum support price (MSP) and if the BJP government was sincere about the interests of farmers, it could have added provisions about the MSP in these bills.
Punjab’s finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday said the Central government wanted to enforce the Bihar model of agriculture for farmers across the country, “but the Punjab government will challenge the three farm bills, passed by Parliament recently, in the Supreme Court”.
“In the Bihar model, the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) has been scrapped and the farmers there are getting 30 percent lesser price for their produce than what the farmers in Punjab get. The Punjab government will challenge the three farm bills in the Supreme Court. Agriculture is a state subject and the union government has no right to interfere in a state’s matter,” said Badal while speaking to the media at Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters. He was in the state to convey the party’s stand on the farmers’ issues.
Badal said the three bills make no mention of minimum support price (MSP) and if the BJP government was sincere about the interests of farmers, it could have added provisions about the MSP in these bills. The minister said that under the proposed laws, corporates would be allowed to do business with farmers without checks and the government would not be able to enforce the MSP.
He said the Punjab government would soon declare the whole state as a ‘mandi’ in the interest of farmers.
Badal further said that by getting the three bills passed in Parliament without any debate, the BJP government has exposed its anti-farmer stance. He said after assuming power, the BJP government had promised to double the income of farmers. The minister quoted statistical data to make his point that agriculture growth was down to 3.1 percent during the BJP government’s tenure - lowest in the past 14 years, he said.