Purchases below MSP should be declared illegal; bar private players

NEW DELHI: Amid an ongoing protest against the recent farm laws, RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) suggested a few amendments in the legislations on Sunday to overcome drawbacks and asserted that the government’s intent in bringing the laws was good.

The minimum support price (MSP) should be guaranteed to farmers and purchases below the MSP should be declared illegal, according to a resolution passed by the SJM.

Not only the government, private parties should also be barred from buying at a rate below the MSP, it said.

In the absence of a “mandi fee”, buyers will naturally be encouraged to buy outside the APMC markets and thus, farmers will also be forced to sell their produce outside such markets, SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said.

“The Swadeshi Jagran Manch feels that in such a situation, big procurement companies may exploit the farmers. In such a situation, it would be appropriate that when purchases are being allowed outside the APMC markets, the MSP is guaranteed to farmers and purchases below the MSP are declared illegal,” the RSS-affiliate said in a statement.

Citing the case of Reliance retail, its expanding size and foreign investments in the company, the SJM expressed concerns about the nexus of MNCs and Indian business houses.

It said the Centre should critically examine the real impact of such development on the overall employment in the unorganised retail sector as well as on the consumers at large.

It also suggested that the FDI norms should be appropriately amended to block the entry of MNCs in multi-brand retail trade in the country directly or indirectly.

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