Official communication assures SAD of "no change in the existing practices."
SAD Core Committee hails the "victory of farmers", lauds Sukhbir Singh Badal congratulates Punjab farmers
Chandigarh August 27, 2020: The Government of India today categorically assured the farmers that the three Ordinances about the marketing of agriculture produce will have no bearing on the existing policy of procurement of farmers' crops by government agencies at Minimum Support Price. "There is no change in “ the present policy of purchase of agriculture produce through MSP through state agencies," the centre clarified today.
The Government India has further declared that the "official Procurement and MSP will not only continue but "will continue to be the priority of the Central government"
Centre’s assurance to farmers comes in a categorical official communication the SAD president Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union Agriculture, farmers Welfare and rural development, Minister Mr Narendra Tomar.
Mr Badal disclosed that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has assured him that these commitments will be reflected in the legislation to turn this ordinance into an Act
Mr Badal said that the centre’s assurances have come only after deliberations at the highest level.
The communication categorically states that the “ government and APMC will continue to have regulatory powers within the Trade areas and to impose mandi fees and other charges as per the state statues” as is the practice now. ( A trade area is defined as any place where the produce is sold and purchased.
“ State APMC Act and institutions established under such statutes will continue to operate and are not affected in any way by these ordinances, “ says the official communication.
The written assurance from the Government of India through the concerned Minister, Mr Tomar, comes in response to a letter which mr Badal had written to the centre on July 26 in which the SAD president had emphasized that the assurances given verbally in this regard had not proved enough to remove the "fears and apprehensions in the minds of the farmers about the continuance of official procurement of farmers' crops at Minimum Support Price. Mr Badal had insisted that "these assurances must be put in black and white so that the fears about the government backing out of these commitments later could be set at rest for ever." Mr Badal in his letter had said that the "farmers wanted these commitments to put in writing."
Mr Badal convened a special meeting of the Core Committee of the party in which he shared this commitment from the centre. The Core Committee described Mr Badal's success in securing these written assurances as "a victory for the farmers of Punjab and elsewhere."
Talking to newsmen in a virtual Press Conference in the party's Chandigarh headquarters, Mr Badal said ," As long as I am alive, i will not let procurement at MSP to discontinue . This is a cause for which I do not and will not hesitate to make any sacrifice. "
Mr Badal said that the SAD wanted to respond to the criticism of its stand on Ordinances only after concrete and unequivocal written assurances from the Centre. After these assurances in black and white, the issue of the continuation of procurement of crops at MSP is settled once and for all. Procurement will continue at MSP as before."
Mr Badal regretted that certain elements pretending to be champions of farmers' interests but "sponsored, paid and actively assisted by Captain Amaridner Singh and his anti-farmer Congress party had been busy misleading the farmers, caiming that these Ordinances would put an end to the practice of government buying farmers crop at MSP. "This written commitment by the government of India is a slap on the faces of these conspirators and their masters in the Congress party. These people have been active to become relevant at the cost of the farmers, and they had been engaged in vicious propaganda that procurement and MSP will stop. They have been left with nothing to say after this written commitment, although they will continue to indulge in rumours and shame-faced lies to mislead the farmers. But they won't succeed now. "