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Monday, 20 July 2020

Haryana CM: Ordinances in peasants’ interest

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19

On the eve of protests by farmers' groups, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the Centre's three ordinances were in the interest of the farming community and that vested interests were spreading misinformation.

He was addressing a press meet to explain the ordinances and the government's commitment to doubling the farmers' income, here on Sunday.

2,000 multi-brand outlets in offing

  • The CM announced the opening of 2,000 multi-brand outlets on the lines of Super Bazaars under the aegis of the Cooperation Department to promote self-help groups, cottage industry and others
  • These outlets will be called 'Harit' and sell everything from Hafed products, Vita items, products prepared by self-help groups and more under one roof

The government is also working on establishing soil labs in village schools and colleges to test samples and give certificates for every acre of land. "We have 70 lakh acres and this certification will be needed every three years. It can also give a push to the 'earn while you learn' slogan since the students can be involved in the entire exercise," Khattar said.

On the ordinances, he said the NDA government at the Centre was committed to experimenting and getting out-of-the-box ideas for the benefit of the public at large. The three ordinances were a step in the direction of empowering farmers by opening the market and allowing them to sell the produce anywhere over and above the minimum support price (MSP) announced by the government.

The Centre had promulgated three ordinances — the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance — which have not gone down well with certain sections of farmers.

"Those maintaining that the farmer will have to sell his produce at lower rates are wrong. The agreement between the farmer and the buyer will be over and above the MSP. Further, once a farmer is not compelled to sell his produce in the mandis, he can explore other markets in the country for better pricing. Also, the farmer will now have the option to hold on to his produce till he gets the price he wants. The government will invest in infrastructure to hold on to the produce by creating more warehouses and cold storage chains," the CM said.

He attributed the protests against the ordinances to "farmer politics of vested interests" and said the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state were pushing for initiatives, which would help the farmer get increased incomes. "Though the agreements outside the mandis between the farmers and the buyers will lead to a loss of revenue, we want to empower the farmers," he said.

Emphasising the government's scheme to appoint one "kisan mitra" for every 100 farmers to guide them, Khattar said the government's "Mera Pani Meri Virasat" crop diversification scheme's target of sowing alternative crops other than paddy on 1 lakh hectares had been achieved.

from The Tribune

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