New Delhi: Amid criticism that farm bills will do away with the Minimum Support Price (MSP), Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday assured that it will continue, adding that it was not made a mandatory provision in the agriculture bills because it has never been a part of the law.Also Read - Protesting Farmers End First Day of 'Kisan Parliament' at Jantar Mantar, Govt Invites Them For Talks | 10 Points
“We have declared MSP for Kharif and Rabi crops. As soon as Kharif crop is harvested, govt procurement will begin,” Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told news agency ANI. Also Read - Farmers’ Protest: Centre Rules Out Repealing 3 Farm Laws, Says Ready to Resume Talks on Provisions of Legislations
Attacking the Congress party, the minister asked the opposition party why it didn’t incorporate the MSP in the law despite being in power for 50 years. “Has MSP ever been part of law? Congress ruled for 50 yrs, why didn’t they incorporate it in law? They’re making issue as they don’t have anything to criticise. MSP has always been Govt of India’s administrative decision & remains so,” he retorted. Also Read - Rakesh Tikait Seeks Mamata’s Support For Farmers’ Movement, Govt Says Ready To Hold Talks Again | Key Points
“Congress & some opposition parties are misleading farmers for personal gains as they themselves couldn’t bring such reforms. Manmohan Singh & Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar wanted to bring reforms, but due to pressure from some people, UPA couldn’t muster courage,” NS Tomar asserted.
Affirming the proposed agriculture laws, Tomar said that farmer welfare would not have been possible without
it, terming the ordinances as “revolutionary”.
“The welfare we want for farmers wouldn’t have been possible without changing laws. Farmers’ Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Bill, & Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance & Farm Services Bill will be revolutionary.”
The opposition and the government are at loggerheads ever since the two farm Bills were passed amid a ruckus in the Upper House on Sunday. The third contentious Bill on essential commodities was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
On Sunday, pandemonium broke out in the Upper House as the opposition protested over the two Farm Bills. Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien even approached the Chair and tried to snatch a mike while citing the rule book.