Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the passage of agrarian reform bills in the Lok Sabha will truly free the farmers from the middlemen and all other obstacles, further it will also provide new opportunities to the farmers to sell their produce which will increase their profits.

PM Modi tweeted that the passing of historic agrarian reform bills in the Lok Sabha was an important moment for the country’s farmers and the agricultural sector. He added that those bills would truly free the farmers from middlemen and all obstacles.

He added that the agrarian reform would provide new opportunities for farmers to sell their produce, which would increase their profits. He further added that with that, the agriculture sector would get the benefit of modern technology, whereas the farmers would be empowered. The Prime Minister further stated a lot of powers are engaged in confusing the farmers.

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PM Modi tweeted that he assured his farmer brothers and sisters that the system of MSP and government procurement would remain, those bills were really going to empower the farmers by giving them many more options. He added that he requests the farmers and all those associated with the agriculture sector to listen to the speech given by the Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, during the discussion on the agricultural reform bills in the Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two bills related to “reforms” in agriculture marketing after a debate with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stating that the legislations will “end licence raj” and farmers will be free to sell their agricultural produce according to their choice.

BJP’s ally Shiromani Akali Dal opposed the two bills. Several opposition parties including the Congress also strongly opposed the bills. The House passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment And Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

The bills seek to replace two ordinances brought by the government earlier this year. Tomar in his reply sought to allay apprehension of members opposing the bill. “Both these acts will empower the agricultural economy,” he said.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said that bills related to agriculture will bring revolutionary changes in the lives of farmers and strengthen agriculture economy.

The minister was replying to the debate in Lok Sabha which later passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 by voice vote. Tomar said that the interests of farmers are protected under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, interests of farmers were protected, both those bills would bring revolutionary changes in farmers’ lives. He said the legislations will end license raj and farmers will be free to sell their agricultural produce from one state to another. “Both these acts will empower the agricultural economy,” he added.

Tomar said the government has announced 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) with a view to making farmers prosperous and organised and Rs 6,850 crores will be spent to make these organisations self-reliant. He said Rs one lakh crore package was announced for agriculture under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

Hitting out at the Congress, the Agriculture Minister said Congress government intended to take steps similar to those in the bill but lacked courage.

He referred to a speech by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said it mentioned that “time has come to make the country a common market for agricultural produce”.

He said Congress manifesto stated that the party will amend the Agriculture Produce Markets Act so that restrictions on exports and interstate trade are removed. He said the budget of Agriculture Ministry has seen a steep rise under Modi government.

He said that the PM KISAN scheme was started and Rs 92,000 crores had been deposited in bank accounts of farmers. The Lok Sabha had earlier passed a bill to amend the Essential Commodities Act. Opposing the bills, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that three ordinances are “a toxic triangle”.

He said Harsimrat Kaur, who resigned from the union cabinet over the bills, “has displayed guts by opposing this draconian legislation”.

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