Farm reform bills will rid farmers & farm sector of middlemen & other bottlenecks: Rijiju

ITANAGAR, Oct 1: Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday launched a scathing attack on opposition parties for opposing the farm reform bills, saying that the legislations would rid farmers and the farm sector of middlemen and other bottlenecks.

The new farm legislations brought by the BJP-led NDA government will benefit the farmers throughout the country and after independence, the Modi government took a big step to improve the agri and allied sectors in the country, the union MoS (Independent) for Sports & Youth Affairs told reporters on the sideline of an official function here.

“The protests against the legislations by the opposition parties represent political dishonesty and the influence of middlemen,” Rijiju said.

He said many forces were trying to “mislead” farmers without going through the clauses of the farm reform bill.

Both the houses of the parliament last month passed the three bills – the farmers produce trade & commerce (promotion and facilitation) bill, the farmers (empowerment and protection) agreement on price assurance and farm services bill, and the essential commodities (amendment) bill.

Rijiju added that the new farm reform acts assured the farming community that minimum support price (MSP) and government procurement of their produce would continue, along with a lot of other options for them.

“The Congress in its election manifesto promised to bring succour to the farming community through certain legislations, but they never implemented practically. They (Congress) should be happy that their promises to the farmers have been fulfilled by our government through agriculture reform legislations and instead they are protesting and instigating farmers to protest,” Rijiju said.

The Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal West parliamentary constituency asserted that through the new act, the government would provide all sorts of support, including technical support, to the farmers to double their income by 2022.

“This legislation will benefit the farmers of all the states. The agriculture reforms legislations will make free the farmers from the grip of the middleman, and they will be able to sell their produce to buyers from across the country at a price they deem to be fair and at a time of their choosing,” the minister said.

“Freedom to sell at the farm gate will do away with transportation expenses, and thus boost incomes. This is a giant stride towards the fulfillment of the dream of ‘one nation, one market’ after independence,” Rijiju added.

“No government will frame laws which will be detrimental to the farming community,” he said.

Rijiju said that Arunachal, with its suitable climatic conditions, could be a major producer of agro produces. He said that the new agriculture reforms would herald a new era of development in the state’s agriculture and allied sectors.

“Most of our youths will be able to create a position for themselves in these sectors and the government will provide all necessary support. Once we define the progressive farming sector, where our youths can come and join, then the capacity will increase,” he added.

The union minister commended Chief Minister Pema Khandu for giving more attention to the agri and allied sectors in the state, saying that this would be the foundation for Arunachal to acquire the ‘progressive’ status.

Earlier, addressing an interactive session with the MLAs at Siddhartha Hall here on the Agriculture Reforms Act, 2020, Rijiju called upon the elected members to “work with ‘Team Arunachal’ spirit,” and to create awareness among the farming communities in their respective constituency on the new legislations.

He also urged the people to shun the dependency syndrome on the government and take farming as an alternative for self-reliance.

“Turn Arunachal Pradesh into a productive state by taking farming as a way of life,” he appealed to the people, pointing out that every Arunachalee has inherited land capital where they can start farming. (PTI)