Amit Shah welcomes Sitharaman's announcements for agri sector

New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday welcomed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcements for the agricultural sector, which is facing hardships due to the ongoing lockdown, and said the Modi government believes that India's development lies with the welfare of farmers.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, Shah said the Narendra Modi government would bring a central law to give farmers enough options to sell their produce at a better price.

'Modi government believes that India's welfare lies in the welfare of farmers. This unprecedented assistance given to farmers today shows Modiji's foresight to make the country self-sufficient by empowering farmers. For this, I congratulate @narendramodi ji and @nsitharaman ji,' he said.

The home minister said he was confident that the decision of the Rs one-lakh crore 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund' will give a new direction to the agriculture sector and the welfare of farmers of India.

'With the landmark decision of Agriculture Marketing Reforms, the Modi government will bring a central law that will give farmers enough options to sell their produce at a better price. He (the farmer) will be able to do barrier-free inter-state trade and through e-trading, his produce will reach every corner of the country,' he said.

In the third tranche of the COVID-19 economic package, Sitharaman on Friday announced a slew of measures for the agriculture sector, including a Rs 1.63 lakh crore outlay and amending the stringent Essential Commodities Act to remove cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato from its purview.

Also, a new law will be framed to give farmers the option to choose the market where they want to sell their produce by removing inter-state trade barriers and providing e-trading of agriculture produce, she said.

Announcing the third tranche of an overall package of Rs 20 lakh crore to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union finance minister said foodstuffs, including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onion, and potato, will be deregulated after the amendment to the six-and-half-decade-old Essential Commodities Act.

The Act empowers the government to regulate price as well as stocks of commodities.

The minister said after the amendment, stock limit will be imposed only under very exceptional circumstances like national calamities and famine when there is a surge in prices. PTI ACB IJT