Chandigarh, Oct 4 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday accused the opposition Congress of “misleading” the farmers on new agriculture laws and claimed that the reforms were in the larger interest of the farm community.
He assured the farmers that the MSP regime will continue and not go away as claimed by the Congress.
“The Congress remained in power at the Centre as well as the state on different occasions between 1966 (when Haryana was carved as a separate state) to 2014. Why did it not bring any Act to give a legal guarantee to MSP?” the chief minister asked.
“The Congress is misleading the farmers for its vested interests,” he alleged.
Khattar claimed that the new farm laws are in the larger interest of farmers and the “positive impact” of these reforms in the agriculture sector will be visible in the “near future”.
He was addressing 'progressive farmers' during the “Progressive Farmers Conference and Discussion on Agriculture Acts” organised by the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department and the Haryana State Agriculture and Marketing Board (HSAMB) in Karnal, according to an official statement.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Khattar said that if the opposition party is truly a well-wisher of the farmers, it should ask its governments in Rajasthan and Punjab to purchase bajra, sunflower seeds and moong on MSP as is already being done in Haryana.
“This time the Haryana government has also decided to purchase maize on MSP in the state,” he added.
The chief minister said recently he held a meeting with the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and upon his initiative, the CCI has agreed to procure 100 per cent cotton from Haryana on fulfilling the permissible parameter of moisture content up to 12 per cent.
Earlier, only 25 per cent cotton was being purchased by the CCI from the state, he added.
Khattar said agriculture and farmers form the basis of all welfare policies and programmes of the Central and state governments.
He said the new farm laws will give farmers the freedom to sell their crop anywhere.
The chief minister said as land holdings in the state are continuously shrinking, schemes are being prepared to assist those farmers who have small land holdings and are completely dependent on agriculture by encouraging them to venture into agro-allied activities like dairy farming, bee-keeping, fisheries etc so that their income could be increased.
Apart from this, such farmers would also be provided guidance for the marketing of their produce, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister J P Dalal said the Congress has no concerns for the welfare of farmers.
“During their tenures, the Congress governments, be it at the Centre or in the state, did nothing to safeguard farmers' interests and never paid any heed to their concerns.' Meanwhile, Khattar said with a view to further encourage the “progressive farmers” and motivate them to help other farmers in enhancing their agriculture production through the latest farm practices and better financial management, the state government has decided to launch three new schemes namely 'Pragatishil Kisan Samman Yojana', 'Pragatishil Kisan Trainer' and 'Kisan Mitra Yojana'.
He said under the 'Pragatishil Kisan Samman Yojana', awards of Rs 16 lakh would be given to eight progressive farmers in the category of farmers having cultivable land of 10 acres or above.
While the first prize will carry Rs 5 lakh, second and third prizes will carry Rs 3 lakh each. The remaining fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth awards would carry Rs 1 lakh each, he added.
For the progressive farmers of five to 10 acres of land, 100 awards of Rs 50,000 each would be given. Likewise, for the farmers of less than five acres of land, awards of Rs 10,000 per acre would be given, Khattar said.
The chief minister said eligible farmers will be required to apply for the awards before a committee to be constituted for this purpose. Progressive farmers will also be included in the committee, he added.
He said a directory of progressive farmers of the state would be published soon. PTI SUN VSD AQS AQS