'Watershed moment': PM Modi hails passage of farm bills in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi, Sep 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed the passage of the agriculture reform bills as in Rajya Sabha a "watershed moment", and reiterated that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system won't be touched and government purchase of their produce would continue.
"A watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture! Congratulations to our hardworking farmers on the passage of key bills in Parliament, which will ensure a complete transformation of the agriculture sector as well as empower crores of farmers," Modi said on Twitter, shortly after the bills were passed amid opposition chaos in the Upper House.
"For decades, the Indian farmer was bound by various constraints and bullied by middlemen. The bills passed by Parliament liberate the farmers from such adversities. These bills will add impetus to the efforts to double income of farmers and ensure greater prosperity for them," he added.
Amid the uproar and slogan-shouting, the Deputy Chairman put the two bills -- Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 -- for approval through voice vote.
Some opposition members led by the TMC climbed on to the chairman's podium, tore official papers, and heckled the presiding officer as they opposed the government's push to pass two contentious farm bills without considering their demand for sending the proposed legislations to a house committee.
Ruckus prevailed after Deputy Chairman Harivansh overruled opposition pleas for postponing Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar's reply to the debate on the two bills till Monday as the scheduled sitting time of the House was over.
With government having numbers of its favour the bills were passed. This completes parliamentary approval process for legislation of the bills.
Now they would be sent to the President of India for his assent. Once the President gives assent, they will become law.