CHIEF OF the NCP, Sharad Pawar on Sunday reiterated his concerns over the new farm laws stating that their implementation would adversely affect Minimum Support Price (MSP) and weaken the mandi system.
“The new laws will adversely impact the MSP procurement infrastructure, thereby weakening the mandi system. The MSP mechanism has to be ensured and strengthened further,” Pawar tweeted after taking part in the all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in which issues related to the proposed agenda for the Budget session, farmers’ agitation, women’s bill, among others, were discussed.
Pawar said while reforms were necessary, they could not be at the cost of demolishing a system. ”Reform is a continuous process and no one would argue against the reforms in the APMCs (agriculture produce market committee) or mandi system; a positive argument on the same does not mean that it is done to weaken or demolish the system,” he said.
”During my tenure, the draft APMC Rules, 2007, were framed for setting up special markets, thereby providing alternate platforms for farmers to market their commodities, and utmost care was also taken to strengthen the existing mandi system,” he tweeted.
Pawar also said he was concerned about the amended Essential Commodities Act. ”According to the Act, the govt will intervene for price control only if rates of horticultural produce are increased by 100 per cent and that of non perishable items increase by 50 per cent. Stockpiling limits have been removed on food grain, pulses, onion, potato, oilseeds etc. It may lead to apprehensions that corporates may purchase commodities at lower rates and stockpile and sell at higher prices to consumers,” he tweeted.
Addressing a farmers’ rally at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on January 25, Pawar had accused Modi of displaying “complete indifference and insensitivity” towards farmers protesting for the past 60 days on the outskirts of Delhi, and had warned that angry farmers could bring down governments.
“Let it be known that if you persist with laws that are detrimental to farmers, it will have serious ramifications. If the laws are enforced, farmers will be uprooted. And any attempt to do so will lead to farmers using their might to uproot the government,” Pawar had then said.