Agricultural unions, Oppn did not point out any loopholes in agricultural laws: Take in RS | India News
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar speaks during Parliament’s budget session in Rajya Sabha, New Delhi, on Friday. (ANI photo)
NEW DELHI: Farm unions and opposition parties have not pointed to any loopholes in the three new farm laws, while up to 22 states have passed contract farming laws, with some like Punjab providing jail terms for non-compliant farmers, he said the Minister of Agriculture. Narendra Singh Take on Friday.
Tomar said the government’s offer to amend the laws to assuage the feelings of protesting farmers did not mean they were flawed. The new laws will usher in a “revolutionary change” in the lives of farmers by increasing their income, Tomar said, speaking during the Rajya Sabha discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Speech.
He attacked Congress for gambling with life, using an expression that was later dropped, saying the laws did not have harsh provisions like jail time for farmers in the context of contract farming.
Under the new laws, farmers also have the option to sell their products outside the ‘mandis’, and such sales do not generate any taxes, unlike markets notified by the state government. “The agitation should have been against the tax levied (by state governments) on the sale made in ‘mandis’, but strangely the protests are against freeing the system from such taxes,” said Tomar, adding that the Haryana contracts were approved when Congress was in office.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to respond to the 15-hour discussion marathon, which lasted more than three days, on Monday.
Tomar said the protests were largely limited to a single state, in a reference to Congress-ruled Punjab, and that farmers were misled that they would lose their land. .
Criticizing the opposition for instigating the protests and calling the agricultural laws “kala kanoon (black laws)”, Tomar said that he had repeatedly asked what was “black” in the laws, but neither the farmers’ unions nor the parties of the opposition could specify the deficiencies in them. .
Farmers fear that the new laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum price support mechanism, and that large corporations will step in to usurp their land under contract farming terms.
Tomar said the Modi-led government is committed to the well-being of farmers and to the continuation of the MSP-based mechanism. “Our efforts aim to double farmers’ incomes and rapidly increase agriculture’s contribution to GDP,” he said.
The laws also empower farmers to get out of deals with traders, while under the provisions of Punjab’s contract farming law, a farmer can be sent to jail or face a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh per violate the agreement, he said.