Agriculture bills: NCML hails Modi government for farmer-friendly policies
SRINAGAR: National Collateral Management Services Limited (NCML) has hailed the Modi government for passing agriculture bills in the parliament saying the new legislation will enable the Indian farmers to access global markets.
`The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020′ and `The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020′ were passed by Lok Sabha through a voice vote on Thursday. It has already passed Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.
“I feel that the bills are in the right direction for the progress of farmers and Indian Agriculture and Food economy. We need private sector investments in technology and infrastructure upgradation for Indian agriculture to realize its full potential, and integrate and compete better in the global marketplace. The objective of these bills is to get the farmer connected to the markets and buyers of choice and that is being attempted by removal of regulatory impediments that had limited or made market access expensive. It is to be seen in the days ahead how the market forces play out and whether the farmer is able to actually benefit from the changes as envisaged by these bills,” said Siraj A. Chaudhry, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NCML.
Siraj debunked the criticism over the minimum support price (MSP) saying there is no intent to do away with the facility provided by the government. “MSP is used by government through its agencies to procure specific commodities including wheat, paddy, some pulses, and oilseeds to either support prices or procure for its programmes. Given the government’s commitment under the Food Security Act there should not be any doubt on its intent,” he said.
NCML MD said the states are major stakeholders in the success of these policies. “It would be prudent that views of the states, farmer organizations, and other participants in the Agri value chain are taken on board and aligned besides removing doubts or concerns that are being raised,” he said.
Siraj said this is a major policy change that impacts a large and vulnerable section of the population. “There are a number of unknowns which can be put to rest only after all stakeholders have experienced the outcomes of this change. Therefore it is important for all to tread with patience, trust, and a willingness for course correction based on real experiences,” he said.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar moved the bills in the lower house on Thursday and assured all members that farmers will be able to get better prices for their produce and the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will continue.
According to the government, the reforms will accelerate agricultural growth through private sector investment in building agricultural infrastructure and supply chains for Indian farm produce in national and global markets.