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Three contentious farm laws will affect MSP, weaken mandi system: Pawar


New Delhi, Jan 30: Raising concerns over the three new farm laws, NCP President Sharad Pawar on Saturday said the legislation will adversely affect the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and weaken the mandi system.

Sharad Pawar

Pawar said he virtually participated in the all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which issues related to the proposed agenda for the Budget session, farmers'' agitation, women''s bill and other important issues were discussed.

The farmers have been seeking repeal of three farm bills: Farmers'' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Pawar said the new laws will adversely impact the MSP procurement infrastructure thereby weakening the mandi system. MSP mechanism has to be ensured and strengthened further, he added.

Hold talks, don't think of using force against farmers: Sharad PawarHold talks, don't think of using force against farmers: Sharad Pawar

"Reform is a continuous process and no one would argue against the reforms in the APMCs or Mandi System, a positive argument on the same does not mean that it is done to weaken or demolish the system," Pawar tweeted.

"During my tenure, the draft APMC Rules - 2007 were framed for the setting up of special markets thereby providing alternate platforms for farmers to market their commodities and utmost care was also taken to strengthen the existing Mandi system," he tweeted.

Pawar, who served as Union Agriculture Minister from 2004-2014, said he was also concerned about the amended Essential Commodities Act.

"According to the Act, the Govt will intervene for price control only if rates of horticultural produce are increased by 100 per cent and that of non perishable items increase by 50 per cent.

"Stock piling limits have been removed on food grain, pulses, onion, potato, oilseeds etc. It may lead to apprehensions that Corporates may purchase commodities at lower rates and stock pile and sell at higher prices to consumers," Pawar tweeted.

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