Farm laws will empower, protect farmers & help double their income: Piyush Goyal

Mumbai: The newly enacted farm laws will be game changer as they will empower and protect farmers and will help double their income, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday. The government is under scathing attack for enacting these laws, which farmers in some states and the opposition call anti-farmer.

“These laws will empower farmers to sell their produce wherever they get good value for it and help doubling their income. They are freed from all the earlier restrictions. I believe the farm laws will help agriculture to grow rapidly for years to come, bring prosperity to farmers and will attract many to the farm sector. It is unnecessarily being politicised,” the minister said.

He was addressing the media here as a BJP initiative to bring awareness about the farm laws.

The laws have freed farmers from decades-old bondage regarding sale of their produce and this will pave the way for fast growth of the nation’s agriculture sector, Goyal said.

He said these laws provide contractual protection to farmers against adverse price variations, while also giving them the freedom to avail benefit of favourable market prices.

Farmers have now been empowered with the freedom to sell their produce to the right person, at the right place, at the right time, and at the right price, he added.

These laws will also create opportunities for honest merchants as from now on all terms and conditions will be documented and the payments will be done within three days, he said.

He alleged that some people are worried as their political existence is slowly disappearing so they are politicising the matter by provoking and misleading farmers against these laws.

On minimum support price (MSP), he said, it has been in the country for many years and no one can abolish it.

Goyal said the prime minister has spoken on it, it has been discussed in Parliament and has also been recorded in Parliament procedures, which is considered as good as it can be.

“There is no need to bring in any separate law on MSP and can continue on administrative order. It was always there, and will always be there in future as well,” the minister of railways and commerce & industry said.

“Farmers trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s intentions and policies. In fact, during the prime minister’s tenure, the MSP has witnessed many benefits, including more items under it, better rates and the procurements have been doubled,” Goyal said.

The minister alleged that the Congress party is against the Bill in order to protect the middle men.

He said in order to create more farm infrastructure in the farm sector, the government has outlined Rs 1 lakh crore during the Budget, did hand-holding of 10,000 farmer groups which will help small farmers get holistic benefits like technology, information on weather, soil among others.

The minister also clarified that the government has not abolished the APMC Act and Essential Commodities Act.

“The government will not decide where the farmers will sell their produce. In fact, with these farm laws they are independent to sell their produce wherever they will get a better price,” he said.

Further, the minister said the Kisan Rail service has received a good response and the Railways and the Ministry of Agriculture are working to institutionalise the Kisan Rail corridors, to make them season specific to fruits and vegetables.

“We are also in discussion with the Ministry of Agriculture to start refrigerated coaches for transport of perishable commodities. Warehouses are being planned to be developed, to permanently solve the problem of wastage of farm produce” he added.

The first Kisan Rail was flagged off from Deolali in Maharashtra to Bihar, he said adding there is a proposal now to start Kisan Rail service from Nagpur to transport oranges to different parts of the country as the orange season sets in.

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