Farm laws will adversely impact MSP, weaken Mandi system: Sharad Pawar

Pawar also said that reform is a continuous process and no one would argue against its merits but it should not be done to weaken the system

Sharad Pawar also expressed concern over the Essential Commodities Act. Photo: PTI

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Sunday (January 31) that the Centre’s three controversial farm laws will adversely affect the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and weaken the mandi system.

“The new laws will adversely impact the MSP procurement infrastructure, thereby weakening the mandi system. The MSP mechanism has to be ensured and strengthened further,” Pawar tweeted after taking part in the all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (January 30). At the all-party meeting, the agenda of the Budget session, the farmers’ agitation, women’s bill, and more, were discussed.

PM Modi had also reiterated that his government’s proposal of pausing the implementation of the farm laws for 18 months stands.

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Also read: BJP resorts to separatist narrative to take sting out of farmers’ protest

Pawar said reform “is a continuous process and no one would argue against the reforms in the agriculture produce market committee (APMCs) or mandi system,” but added that a positive argument on the same does not mean “it’s done to further weaken or demolish the system.”

”During my tenure, the draft APMC Rules, 2007, were framed for setting up special markets, thereby providing alternate platforms for farmers to market their commodities, and utmost care was also taken to strengthen the existing mandi system,” Pawar tweeted.

Also read: PM at all-party meet: Govt’s proposal to suspend farm laws still stands

Pawar also tweeted about his concern about the Essential Commodities Act. ”According to the Act, the govt will intervene for price control only if rates of horticultural produce are increased by 100 per cent and that of non perishable items increase by 50 per cent. Stockpiling limits have been removed on food grain, pulses, onion, potato, oilseeds etc. It may lead to apprehensions that corporates may purchase commodities at lower rates and stockpile and sell at higher prices to consumers.”

Pawar had earlier warned the government about its persistence on the farm laws, on January 25, while addressing a farmers’ rally at Azad Maidan, Mumbai. He said: “Let it be known that if you persist with laws that are detrimental to farmers, it will have serious ramifications. If the laws are enforced, farmers will be uprooted. And any attempt to do so will lead to farmers using their might to uproot the government.”

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