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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Ordinances will not help farmers: Hooda

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21

Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said farm ordinances of the Centre could not help farmers. He stated that remunerative prices and increasing productivity were the only means to double farmers' income.

Speaking to The Tribune, Hooda said the BJP government was wrongly touting the ordinances as a step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise of doubling farmers' income.

"If the government is really serious about doubling farmers' income, there are only two ways — increase productivity of crops and give farmers remunerative prices, as recommended in the Swaminathan report as well as by the committee constituted by Manmohan Singh government," he said.

He said the Swaminathan report had recommended MSP to be calculated by adding 50 per cent to the input cost. He said the same formula was suggested by a panel on agriculture under him and promised by the BJP in its manifesto in 2014.

He said the ordinance on contract farming did not say anything on MSP and put farmers at a disadvantage as they could not move court in case of a dispute with companies.

He said as far as the ordinance on agricultural produce market committees was concerned, both Haryana and Punjab would not gain because these states already had a strong mandi network.

Hooda questioned as to how the government would raise farmers' income when input costs had been increased manifold ever since the BJP came to power at the Centre and in the state.

He pointed out that the price of diesel had skyrocketed while fertilisers, pesticides and tractor parts had been brought under GST.

Terming the "Bhawantar Bharpai" scheme on vegetable crops as a farce, Hooda asked whether farmers were paid a difference of Rs 49 per kg for tomato crop, with the current market price at Rs 50 per kg though it fetched Re 1 per kg.

Accusing the BJP of being anti-farmer, he alleged that the farmers' share in premium for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna for cotton had been increased two and a half times while government share had been decreased.

Choudhry, Bishnoi skip party meeting

  • Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday held a meeting of Congress MLAs regarding the Baroda byelection at his residence and assigned duties for campaigning.
  • Jagbir Malik, Kuldeep Vats, Mewa Singh, Jaiveer Valmiki, Babir Valmiki, Geeta Bhukkal, Shakuntala Khatak and Dharam Singh Chokker were asked to tour Baroda.
  • No discussion was held on the candidate for Baroda. About 25 MLAs were present, while Kuldeep Bishnoi and Kiran Choudhry stayed away.
  • "People will not be distracted by non-issues raised by the BJP. They will punish the ruling party for its anti-farmer policies, rising unemployment and increasing crime," he remarked.

from The Tribune

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