Govt must send farm bills to the parliamentary standing committee: Bhartiya Kisan Sangh

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NEW DELHI: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated farmers’ union, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), has demanded that the government send the three agricultural bills to the parliamentary standing committee.

“The three ordinances were promulgated on June 5, The government still has time till December. Why is there a hurry to get the bills passed?” BKS national general secretary Dinesh Kulkarni told ET.

On August 19, BKS general secretary Badri Narayan Choudhary had written a letter to the Prime Minister and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, raising objections to the three bills. “BKS has always been in favour of ensuring better price for farmer’s produce and they should be free to sell their products as per their wish,” said the letter. “We have serious doubts whether the current bills will serve any purpose to the farmers and it appears more of a tool for the buyers rather than the farmers.”

BKS urged the government to make four changes to the bills. “First is to introduce a legal provision that no one should be paid less than the minimum support price,” said Kulkarni. “The second demand is all the traders should get themselves registered with both the central and state governments and put a security deposit. We have a number of examples where the traders buy and don’t make payment to the farmer.”

The third demand was to establish agriculture courts in each district so that all the matters may be dealt in these courts in the farmer’s district. BKS also had objections over contract farming. “Under these bills even corporates are qualified as farmers on account of contract farming. The definition should include only those individuals as farmers who are completely dependent on agriculture,” said Kulkarni.

Apart from writing the letter, BKS has arranged for 12,000 letters by farmers across the country to the PM and agriculture minister demanding changes in the current bills.

“We have also met around 350 Parliament members and requested them to raise this issue in the current session,” said Kulkarni.

The government is facing pressure from different groups regarding the provisions in three agriculture bills.

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