‘Watershed moment’ for agricultural sector: PM on passage of farm bills

Narendra Modi (file photo)

New Delhi (NVI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today welcomed the passage of two farm bills that were cleared in Rajya Sabha and congratulated farmers, saying that it is a ‘watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture”.

“A watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture! Congratulations to our hardworking farmers on the passage of key bills in Parliament, which will ensure a complete transformation of the agriculture sector as well as empower crores of farmers,” the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets.

The PM said that the development will also free the farmers of several adversities they face while selling their produce including and that they can avoid ‘bullying middlemen’ with this legislation.

“For decades, the Indian farmer was bound by various constraints and bullied by middlemen. The bills passed by Parliament liberate the farmers from such adversities. These bills will add impetus to the efforts to double income of farmers and ensure greater prosperity for them,” he said in another tweet.

He said that now the farmers will be able to boost their production with the help of new tools. “Our agriculture sector is in desperate need of latest technology that assists the industrious farmers. Now, with the passage of the bills, our farmers will have easier access to futuristic technology that will boost production and yield better results. This is a welcome step,” he tweeted.

Since the bill has been passed amid strong opposition in both the houses, the Prime Minister today reassured the farming community that the system of MSP will be there and the government procurement will also continue.

“I said it earlier and I say it once again: System of MSP will remain. Government procurement will continue. We are here to serve our farmers. We will do everything possible to support them and ensure a better life for their coming generations,” he said in another tweet.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 which were passed by Lok Sabha on 17th September 2020, were passed by the Rajya Sabha also today.

The Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha on September 14 by Union Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar, to replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said in a statement.

Amid opposition over the bills, the Agriculture minister again clarified that the procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue, and that the assurance for this has been given by Prime Minister himself. He added that rate of MSP has been increased considerably during 2014-2020 and MSP for coming Rabi season will be announced in coming week.

He said that full protection has been ensured to farmers in these legislations.

-ARK