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NDA ally SAD opposes bills related to agriculture marketing in Lok Sabha

NDA ally SAD opposes bills related to agriculture marketing in Lok Sabha

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New Delhi [India], September 17 (ANI): Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday opposed the two farmer-related bills in Lok Sabha and said they will adversely affect lakhs of farmers in Punjab and outside the state.
Participating in the debate in Lok Sabha on the two bills, he said Punjab has approximately two per cent of country's land and plays a major role in fulfilling foodgrains requirements of the country.
He said Punjab has an excellent system of crop procurement through agriculture markets which are linked by roads.
"SAD strongly opposes these bills. They will benefit MNCs and big companies," he said.
Badal, who had earlier opposed the bill to amend Essential Commodities Act, was on Thursday participating on the debate on the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill. The two bills were taken up together for discussion in Lok Sabha.
The two bills along with Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act seek to replace three ordinances brought by the government.
Badal said that the bills will affect 20 lakh farmers and lakhs of labourers in the state. "I appeal (to the government) to save the farmers of Punjab," he said.
Noting that land in Punjab was irrigated, he said there are 12,000 villages and 1,900 purchase centres in the state.
Hitting out at Congress, the SAD president said that his party did not take U-turn and Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had raised her concerns over the bills during the meeting of Union Cabinet.
"Congress leaders said SAD took a U-turn. We did not do any U-turn," he said.
"We raised this issue on every forum but our apprehensions were not cleared. So, when bills were brought so we decided not to support the bill which is against farmers," he said.
He said that Congress had made promises in its manifesto which were similar to the provisions of the three bills.
Badal said Congress had also talked of abolishing the APMC Act.
YSRCP MP Krishna Devarayalu Lavu said that his party supports the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Bill.
"We support the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Bill. But we want the government to ensure that monopolistic tendencies are avoided in farm marketing and states are compensated for the loss in APMC market," he said.
JD-U MP Dileshwar Kamait supported the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill.
He said 70 per cent of Indians depend on agriculture and to the bill was a step in the direction of boosting the income of farmers. (ANI)

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