New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Monday that the farm sector reform bills passed by Parliament were the need of the 21 century India and again reassured farmers that the government purchase of their produce coupled with minimum support price mechanism will continue.
Farmers remained in shackles for long leading to a clique benefiting from their “compulsions”, he said, adding that it needed to be changed and his government has done it.
Noting that his government had brought farm ordinances, which these legislations will replace, in June, he said farmers are already getting a better price for their produce in several states.
Farmers will now have the freedom to sell their produce at a place and price of their choice, he said.
Modi made the comments at a virtual ceremony to lay foundation stones of nine highway projects in Bihar and to inaugurate optical fibre internet services through which the state’s all 45,945 villages will be connected.
Seeking to dispel concerns among a section of farmers, he said he wanted to make it clear that the bills are not against agriculture ‘mandis’ (agricultural markets) and they will continue like they always have.
Two key farm bills, dubbed as the biggest reform in agriculture by the government, were on Sunday passed by Rajya Sabha with voice vote. The two bills were earlier cleared by Lok Sabha.
No government has done as much to boost MSP and government procurement of farmers’ produce than his dispensation, the prime minister said.
The government, he said, lifted a record amount of grains amid the coronavirus pandemic and also made a record payment to farmers.