‘Will not sign on farmers’ death warrant’: Heated debate in Parliament as farm bills tabled in Rajya Sabha
“I want to assure the farmers that these bills are not related to Minimum Support Price (MSP),” he said regarding the farmers’ concern that it will lead to the sale of their products below MSP.Updated: Sep 20, 2020, 13:06 IST
Union minister of agriculture and farmer welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved three crucial farm bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. The bills include the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
“The two bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. The farmers will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country,” Tomar said in the Rajya Sabha.
“I want to assure the farmers that these bills are not related to Minimum Support Price (MSP),” he said regarding the farmers’ concern that it will lead to the sale of their products below MSP.
Agriculturists, who have been agitating against the bills passed in the Lok Sabha earlier, said they are “anti-farmer” and fear they will end the mandi system.
The ordinances have been opposed by several opposition parties as well including the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress.
“Farmers who contribute at least 20% to the total GDP of the country, will be made slaves by these bills. It will kill the farmers and make them a commodity,” said TKS Elangovan of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party in the Rajya Sabha.
“It appears that there is a compulsion that the ruling party doesn’t want a debate or discussion on these Bills. They are only rushing through these Bills. You have not even consulted any farmer associations,” said Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien also opposed the bill in the upper house of Parliament.
“Prime Minister said that Opposition is misleading the farmers. You (Centre) said double farmer income by 2022. But, at current rates, the farmer income will not be doubled before 2028,” he said. “Your credibility is low to make promises,” he added.
“Congress opposes these ill-conceived and ill-timed Bills. Congress rejects these bills. We will not sign on this death warrant of farmers,” said Congress’ Partap Singh Bajwa.
PM should explain why there’s a hurry to pass the bills amid pandemic. He should explain what would farm bills do for farming community in short & long term & how it will help in achieving government's goal of doubling farmers’ income, said former PM and Janata Dal (Secular) MP HD Devegowda.