MSP to stay in force, can’t put everything in law, says Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar | Exclusive

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said the Minimum Support Price (MSP) cannot be put into the new farm laws but assured that the MSP regime is here to stay. Speaking exclusively to India Today News Director Rahul Kanwal, Tomar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given an assurance to the farmers that MSP will continue.

The statement came in reply to a question as to whether MSP can be included in the new farm laws. In 2011, PM Modi who was the then-Gujarat chief minister and chairman of Working Group on Consumer Affairs had submitted a report to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holding the MSP as the benchmark price.

The then Gujarat CM-led panel had recommended that no farmer-trader transaction should take place below the MSP for a crop. The panel had recommended that a law should be enacted for the same.

Clause-b3 of the report said, “Enforce MSP: Since intermediaries play a vital role in the functioning of the market and at times, they have an advance contract with farmers. In respect of all essential commodities, we should protect farmer’s interests by mandating through statutory provisions that no farmer – trader transaction should be below MSP, wherever prescribed.”

Now, the Opposition is accusing PM Modi of rejecting the same recommendations, which were submitted to the Government of India in 2011.

Responding to this, Tomar said, “Opposition had been in power for many years then why didn’t they include MSP in the law? Why are they bringing this up now? There are some things which are decided by the administration. We cannot make laws for everything.”

On the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch’s demand for amending the farm laws or giving a guarantee on the MSP, Tomar said, “Every organisation has its own view but the government has to take a holistic view. The Centre’s priority is farmers and their benefits. That’s why PM Modi has increased the MSP and is trying that in the field of agriculture.”

“The farmers should get funds from the government as well as policies that help increase their production, harvest, and promote expensive crops in order to generate maximum profits. Our government’s aim is that farmers’ income should double by 2022. PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna is this country’s first such policy where Rs 75,000 crore is transferred from the government to the farmers’ accounts,” he said.

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