Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday alleged that parties opposing the newly enacted farm laws were acting as "middlemen for middlemen". Talking to reporters on the second day of his visit to Goa as part of the ruling BJP's initiative to create awareness about the farm laws, Javadekar said the actual situation is that farmers earn less for their produce and customers have to buy it at higher rates.
The middlemen hike the prices and the farm laws deal with this problem by eradicating these middlemen, he said. "Sometimes I feel the opposition parties have become
middlemen for middlemen," he alleged.
Claiming that the agitation against farm laws will die out on its own, the minister said, "Falsehood has limited life while truth lives forever." "The Congress and NCP launched their campaign to protest against the farm bills. I am going to ask them to look at their manifesto. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has spoken about such (agricultural) reforms in his speeches.
But, the Congress has now done a u-turn," he said. He alleged that the opposition parties were spreading a "myth" that APMCs (agriculture produce market committees)
will be shut down under the new laws, and government will stop purchasing the produce or the minimum support price (MSP) would be stopped.
"All these are lies," Javadekar said. The BJP leader also said the conduct of opposition leaders in the Rajya Sabha over the passage of these bills was "condemnable and shameful". Referring to a protest by a group of people on his way to Mapusa town on Saturday, Javadekar said he doubts that those who were protesting were real farmers.
He said 60 per cent population of the country is involved in the farming sector, but their contribution to the GDP (gross domestic product) is 15 per cent.
There is a need to increase the productivity and also give them markets outside the country so that their standard of living improves, he said. Javadekar said when he was in school, the countries population was 30 crore, which has now increase to 138 crore, but despite that, theres no shortage of food. "We are thankful to farmers who have been feeding our country," he said, adding that it is the responsibility of the government to increase their income.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 became law after getting the presidential assent recently.