Farm bills in commercial interest of farmers, should be given a chance: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

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September 24, 2020 2:41 PM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan rules out any rivalry or rift in the BJP ranks.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has accused the opposition of spreading myths on the farm reform bills. In an interview with The Indian Express, Shivraj said that the bills are aimed at providing farmers with options to sell their produce.

He said that farmers should not be forced to sell their produce in the mandi where they pay commission. He said that Madhya Pradesh made changes before the Centre introduced the bills.

“We are not shutting down mandis through this Bill, they will function and trade will go on through them, but we are providing options apart from mandi,” he said.

He explained, “If in mandis, there is commission on vegetables of about 8 per cent, then the farmer has to make compromises. If someone buys his produce from his farm and the farmer can save this 8 per cent, why should we force him to go to the mandi?”

He said that when there is no one in the middle and the farmer is getting more money, “why should anyone have a problem?”

“The Bill is in the commercial interest of the farmer. It will encourage competition, so we should give it a chance,” Shivraj said.

The opposition parties are protesting against the farm bills — 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. They are saying that the government is trying to hand over the farm sector to the corporate house and fear that they will not get a suitable price for their produce.

The government, however, said that the bills give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). Farmers can also enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.

To a question about his announcement that local jobs will only be for the youth of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj said that the government is working out a way in which it can be done and the “unity of the country is not affected”.

“We are all children of Mother India and this is what we feel. But if a factory is coming up, the local people feel their land has been taken over, and that they should be given priority for jobs, this feeling should be taken into account. We are taking a holistic approach, and the decision will be taken considering the unity of the country,” he said.

Shivraj also ruled out any rivalry or rift in the BJP ranks. The CM said that he interacts with Jyotiraditya Scindia and MP’s BJP chief VD Sharma on a regular basis over the phone.

“There is no problem within the BJP, we are working effectively and taking decisions regularly,” he said.

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