‘Grave flaw’: Chidambaram slams Centre over agricultural reform Bills

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Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday slammed the Central government over the passage of agricultural reform Bills in Lok Sabha, saying that it challenges the pillars of the food security system of the country.

In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said, “Two farmer-related ordinances have been approved by the Lok Sabha. Farmers of Punjab and Haryana are on the streets protesting. Captures the distance between the people and the government.” Chidambaram’s remarks come after 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 was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

“The two ordinances challenge the three pillars of our still-imperfect food security system. They are Minimum Support Price; public procurement; and Public Distribution System,” he added.

He further said that the “grave flaw” in the ordinances is that they do not stipulate that the price which the farmer gets “shall not be less than the MSP.” “States were not consulted. The passage of the laws is a huge blow dealt by the BJP government to States’ rights and federalism. Farmers in Tami Nadu have told me that they are selling paddy at Rs 850 to private traders against an MSP of Rs 1150. State government must explain,” he added.

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

Tomar said that the interests of farmers are protected under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, interests of farmers are protected. Both these bills will bring revolutionary changes in farmers’ lives.”

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