New Delhi, Sep 21 (PTI) The Centre should assure farmers it will continue to procure paddy and wheat at minimum support price as the passage of two farm-related Bills has created apprehension among the farming community whether the FCI will purchase their crops, Congress MP Manish Tewari demanded Monday.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, he also said the government should ensure the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of food grains, continue to give funds to state procurement agencies to carry out purchase operations smoothly.
Tewari hails from Punjab which contributes a significant quantity of food grain in the central pool.
Raising the matter during Zero Hour, he said paddy procurement will start in the country from October last week.
Parliament has passed the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
Due to the passage of the Bills, Tewari said, there is an apprehension in the minds of 'crores of farmers' whether government agencies will carry out procurement operations or not.
The MSP is 'relevant only when these agencies buy paddy from farmers,' he said, adding that today crores of farmers are protesting on roads.
'I demand from the government that they should assure farmers that procurement by cental government agencies will be continued and the central government will continue to procure on MSP both paddy and wheat,' he said.
His party colleague Shashi Tharoor (INC) raised issues related to fishermen in Kerala.
He said the community was hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown and floods, and urged the government 'to provide additional relief to state government to expedite compensation and other support to help them tide over this exceedingly difficult period'.
Sangeeta Azad (BSP) raised the matter related to the appointment of SC/ST candidates in different universities in Uttar Pradesh including in the University of Allahabad, and Purvanchal University.
She alleged that SC/ST candidates were declared ineligible in interviews despite the fact that some of the students were highly educated.
Azad demanded those posts be filled. PTI RR RR TIR TIR