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Chidambaram Says Farm Bills Undermine Food Security System, Slams BJP’s Attempt to ‘Malign’ 2019 Manifesto

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File picture of Congress chief P Chidambaram.

Congress chief and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram stated that the Congress’s 2019 ballot manifesto was based mostly on foundational ideas of minimal help worth (MSP), public procurement and public distribution system (PDS) to guarantee meals safety.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: September 19, 2020, 5:24 PM IST

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The farm payments introduced by the federal government undermine the meals safety system, the Congress claimed on Saturday and urged opposition events to collectively oppose the payments in order that they don’t turn into legislation of their current type. Congress chief and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram stated that the Congress’s 2019 ballot manifesto was based mostly on foundational ideas of minimal help worth (MSP), public procurement and public distribution system (PDS) to guarantee meals safety.

But Prime Minister Narendra Modi and spokespersons of the BJP have “deliberately and maliciously distorted” the Congress manifesto, he alleged. On Friday, the BJP had alleged that the Congress in its 2019 manifesto had promised to abolish the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.


Chidambaram stated it’s clear within the manifesto that the Congress had promised to assist farmers. However, this authorities has “surrendered” to corporates and merchants, he claimed in a press release. “Every political party has to take a stand is it with the farmers or is it with the BJP threatening the livelihood of farmers,” Chidambaram stated.

The Lok Sabha has handed three payments associated to the farm sector and these are the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, which search to promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state commerce in agricultural produce. These will now be tabled within the Rajya Sabha.

Seeking to counter the ruling BJP’s cost that it was the Congress which had proposed to dispose of the APMC Act, he stated successive Congress governments constructed, brick by brick, a meals safety system that culminated within the National Food Security Act, 2013. The three pillars of the Congress’ meals safety system are MSP, Public Procurement and PDS, Chidambaram stated. The Congress had promised to promote farmers producer firms and organisations to allow them to entry inputs, expertise and markets,he stated.

The celebration had additionally assured establishing farmers’ markets with sufficient infrastructure and help in massive villages and small cities to allow a farmer to convey produce and freely market the identical, the previous finance minister stated.

“Farmers need multiple accessible markets and choice. The Congress’ proposals would have given them that. Once that is accomplished, the Congress manifesto promise on repealing the APMC Act and making trade in agricultural produce free would be a natural sequel in course of time,” he stated. “While our promise is clear, the Modi government has surrendered to the corporates and traders,” the Congress chief alleged.

Chidambaram stated two farm payments don’t include a clause that the value that the farmer will get from the personal purchaser shall not be lower than the MSP. “Why is such a clause absent,” he requested. The payments undermine the one regulated market obtainable to the farmer right now, with out creating hundreds of different markets that will likely be accessible to the farmer. The payments assume perversely that the farmer and the personal purchaser have equal bargaining energy. They don’t,” Chidambaram said. “The small farmer will likely be on the mercy of the personal purchaser,” he said.

Chidamabaram also said that in case a dispute arises between the farmer and the private purchaser, the machinery under the bills is so bureaucratic and convoluted that no farmer will have the strength or the resources to fight the purchaser. The small and medium farmer will be ruined, he said. “The payments undermine the three pillars of our meals safety system, the Congress chief stated.

“Little knowledge is dangerous and little reading is even more dangerous”, Chidambaram stated and alleged that the BJP is caught in an online of its personal creation He alleged that an economic system by scarcity of products and companies was exploited by it. Suspended Congress chief Sanjay Jha on Friday had stated the opposition celebration and the BJP had been on the identical web page on the farm sector payments because the Congress had earlier than the 2019 parliamentary elections proposed abolition of the APMC Act to make agricultural produce free from restrictions.




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