In an interview to PTI (Press Trust of India), Chand mentioned, “The way, I see these farmers, who are protesting against the new farm law, seems they haven’t fully or correctly understood these three laws.”
Answering to a question on whether the central government continues to be assured of doubling the farm income by 2022, he said, “If the ways are mad clear to implement these new farm law, there are great possibilities of big increase in income of the farmers, it may even double.”
On September 27, President Ram Nath Kovind gave approval to the THREE farm bills:
– The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
– The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020;
– The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Explaining further on farmer’s disagreement, he mentioned protesters are saying that the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) has been eliminated and free hands been given to stockists, black marketers, and so forth.
“Modification in Essential Commodity Act have been made with a criteria laid on when the Essential Commodities Act can be imposed, and it is only then if there is a 50% increase in prices of cereals, pulses and oil seeds, Or if there is 100% sky rocket of price of onion and potato commodities then Essential Commodities Act can be imposed.” he defined.
Mentioning an example, he stated that on October 23, the Union government had invoked the Act when onion prices have been rising.
Giving the clarity over Corporate and Contract farming he said, “Corporate farming is not permitted in any part of the country and contract farming is in practice since years across many states and not even a single complaint has come where private companies have been taken over farmers land.” Chand mentioned.
To a query on farm sector development, Chand replied,” In fiscal year (2020-21), I expect the growth of agri sector to be slightly more than 3.5%.”
Fiscal year, 2019-20, has witnessed about 3.7% growth in agri and allied sectors.
On frequent ban on exports of onion, he mentioned at any time when prices go beyond a control, the union government intervenes and it occurs all over the place in India, the US and the UK.
“Onion prices can’t be permitted go beyond Rs. 100. Especially, when farmers are not selling. 60-70% of onions reach market place April and May and it does not reach market at this time,” he mentioned.
Chand argued it’s not that by imposing ban on exports the central government is doing one thing terribly mistaken towards the producers.
Thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting towards the three new laws. They say the intention of those laws is to dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system.