Jaipur, Oct 1 (PTI) Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal on Thursday said a 'directionless' and 'issueless' opposition is trying to mislead farmers of the country over farm laws.
'The opposition is directionless and is not left with any issue so they are trying to mislead farmers. However, they cannot mislead farmers beyond a limited area,' Goyal said at a press conference here.
He was here as part of the BJP's campaign to address the issues related to farm laws and hold discussions with various stakeholders.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to the three contentious bills - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.
Goyal said that strengthening farmers has been the priority of the Narendra Modi-led government, which believes that if the farmer is empowered, the country will become stronger.
He said that the three bills related to agriculture, recently passed by Parliament, will prove to be major steps towards improving the future of the farmers of the country and liberating them from middlemen.
Goyal said that the Centre has been working tirelessly for six consecutive years to bring changes in the lives of farmers, increase their production and fetch right price for their produce.
He said that the farmers have been tied up in many chains for years and the Centre has taken transformative steps to ensure that the farmers get rid of them.
'Now, the farmer is free to sell his products to anyone and anywhere. Neither we have abolished the mandis nor the agricultural produce and Livestock Market Committee. While maintaining the system, the farmer can sell the product anywhere he wishes,' Goyal said.
Replying to a question on abolishing the minimum support price (MSP) system, he said that the system has been prevailing from years and will continue to remain the same in the future.
Goyal said that through these laws, farmers have also been made self-reliant and given opportunities to increase their income.
On the issue of minimum support price, Goyal said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, MSP payments to farmers in the last six years almost doubled as compared to the tenure of the UPA government.
'The farmers of the country have full faith in the intentions and policies of Prime Minister Modi,' he said.
Earlier, Goyal consulted people related to the agriculture sector and answered various questions in a dialogue programme organised on the steps taken by the Union government to benefit the farmers and empower them.
On being asked what the BJP will do if the Rajasthan government does not implement the agriculture bills passed by the Centre, he said let the state government do what it wants to, farmers will give the answer to it. On the agitation against the agricultural bills, Goyal said, 'Unfortunately, this subject is being politicised in Punjab. In a short time, as people will understand, they will come to know that they have been brought to make farmers self-sufficient by freeing them from all chains.' On the resignation of former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Goyal said, 'She had to take such a decision under the pressure of local politics of Punjab...It is her decision but our prime minister's objective is that we will reform and perform and will change fate of the farmers.' Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat targeted the Congress for opposing the agricultural laws.
He said if the Rajasthan government will stop implementing public welfare schemes of the Centre then only three years are left for the state assembly elections and people will give an apt reply.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary said under the Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi, Rs 75,000 crore have been deposited in bank accounts of around 10 crore farmers so far. PTI AG KJ KJ