New agri laws will help double farmers' income: Thakur

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) BJP leader Anurag Thakur on Friday slammed opposition parties, asking them not to use farmers for their political gains and asserted that the three new farm laws will help in doubling income of the farming community.

While participating in the debate on the Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha, Thakur, who is the Minister of State for Finance, challenged the opposition leaders to show him if it is written anywhere in the three agri laws that the regime of 'mandis' and MSP would come to an end due to the legislation.

'These people say farm laws are black laws. Only whose thinking is black will call it black. This law has been brought to double the income of farmers. We are committed to double the income of farmers,' Thakur said in the Upper House.

'You say mandis will be finished. I openly challenge Congress leaders to tell us in which law it has been written that mandis will be finished. Where has it been written that MSP will end ?Does any Congress leader or any opposition leader has the guts to tell if anywhere in the agri law it is written that mandis will end? Do not use these simple farmers for your politics. We have taken the task to double farmer' income and we will do it,' Thakur said.

'You say mandis will be finished. We say we are going to further strengthen these mandis. You don't have logic, facts, you only want to create differences,' the minister said.

Thakur noted that purchase of agri produce has only increased under the current dispensation as compared to that under the UPA government.

He said that in order to improve agriculture infrastructure in the country a cess has been introduced in the budget.

'There is a need for agri infra for perishable goods. Why didn't you come with it in the last 65 years? The Modi government has brought in infrastructure cess and because of this there will be no increase in the prices of petrol and diesel,' he noted.

Attacking the West Bengal government, Thakur said that due to 'stubborn' attitude of Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, benefits under the PM Kisan Yojana and Ayushman Bharat were not reaching the masses in the state.

Thakur also said that it was the UPA government which started privatisation of airports.

'It was under your rule that Air India was destroyed and now you want taxpayer's money amounting to Rs 6,000 crore given to it every year and not for the welfare of poor masses of this country. What should be done you decide,' Thakur said.

He said inflation used to be in the range of 11-12 per cent during the UPA rule, which has now come down to 4 per cent. Besides, fiscal deficit, which used to be the range of 5-6 per cent, has been brought down to less than 3.5 per cent, he added.

Thakur said it was the UPA government which forced banks to give money to people who have now run away from the country.

'Why was it that in your government there was one scam after another. Dr Saheb was an honest man, what about the people under him, there would not even be one department where a scam would not have taken place in your government,' he said.

He further said, 'Modi government is completing 7 years and no one can allege even 7 paise corruption on any of the ministers. This is an honest government.' Thakur said the Modi government has done maximum work for the poor helping maximum number of people to come out from poverty.

He said the government was working on employment generation and to make it self reliant.

Thakur added that seven textile parks and three drug parks would come up in the country, leading to huge investment and employment to people.

He noted that provision has been made in the Budget to increase capital expenditure outlay by 34.5 per cent which would have a multiplier effect on development across sectors.

The minister also said that the Modi government consulted all states before taking measures during the pandemic and, therefore, the mortality rate in the country was among the lowest in the world. PTI MSS MSS DV DV