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A farmer working in a field | Representational image | Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: As the Modi government’s farm bills continue to stoke controversy, two affiliates of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have sought assured MSP for farmers, saying it should also be available in the open market. 

The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) have urged the Modi government to ensure that MSP — minimum support price, which guarantees a certain level of returns on produce — is a part of purchases inside and outside mandis as well.

“We have issued our statement and, in our discussions, have informed the government that MSP should be applicable for farmers in the open market, besides mandi, too,” said BKS organising secretary Dinesh Kulkarni.

“At the same time, traders who want to buy from the farmers should register themselves in a portal and should not be allowed to buy only on the basis of PAN card,” he added.

“We have suggested that the government should integrate MSP with the open market. That is, if the farmer sells his produce anywhere, then he should be assured a minimum support price. No one should be allowed to purchase below it,” he said.

In a media statement, the SJM urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that MSP is made a legal provision. 

“Now that new agriculture laws are being made, MSP should be made a legal provision whether a purchase is made inside or outside a ‘mandi’. Those who try to deny farmers this right should be punished as per law,” said SJM national co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan.

Added Kulkarni, “We also want farmers to get a competitive market. Right now the farmers are not getting the confidence that MSP brings with it, so that should be included. There are 80-85 per cent small and marginal farmers in the country.” 

“The government is assuring that we will not stop the purchase, that is fine, but the purchase that takes place on MSP has only 6 per cent of farmers across the country. Our demand is that MSP should be linked with an open market and it will really help the farmers,” he said.


Also Read: Modi govt can bring real agriculture reforms only by working with states


Controversial bills

The three farm bills — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and Amendment to 1955 Essential Commodities Act — will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha Sunday. 

Among other things, they seek to extricate farmers from manipulation by middlemen, by allowing them to trade freely outside mandis set up under the agricultural produce marketing committee (APMC) Acts at the central level and in different states. 

Several farmers’ organisations, especially in Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting against the three bills, which have also been termed anti-farmer by the opposition as well as BJP ally SAD. The leading demand is that MSP be made a legal provision to assure a better price to farmers.


Also Read: Opposed by opposition & BJP ally SAD, bill to replace farm ordinance passed in Lok Sabha


 

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4 Comments Share Your Views

4 COMMENTS

  1. TS Darbari – The goals of these bills are to liberalize the farming sector and to provide the farmers with better options to sell their produce. The bill seems to be highly beneficial for the farmers. The idea with all three Bills is to liberalize the farm markets in the hope that doing so will make the system more efficient and allow for better price realizations for all concerned, especially the farmers. The central concern, presumably, is to make Indian farming a more remunerative enterprise than it is right now. The bill on Agri market seeks to allow farmers to sell their produce outside APMC ‘mandis’ to whoever they want. Farmers will get better prices through competition and cost-cutting on transportation. However, this Bill could mean states will lose ‘commissions’ and ‘mandi fees’.
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  2. SAD, BKS, RSS and Cong are on the same page. Indicates how little consultation Modi Govt has done before rushing this law through. NDA is looking isolated.

  3. Open market is a good step however MSP should be integrated in it as well.

    Cost of produce should be decided by states based on market value and adjusted inflation.

    If the procurement happens interstate which is more likely then applicable inflation at destination should be applied.

    With private players entering the open market they will be able to drive the price down of procurement which in absence of msp can be detrimental to an individual farmer.

    A cooperative or a panchayat or farmers association will be in a better position to negotiate with these private player but without these layer an individual farmer can be open to sell even at lower prices thus incurring loss.

  4. Hey moron The Print, you forget to mention that the Congress had made similar proposals in its manifesto. But is now vocally opposed to the exact same bills.

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