Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday interacted with farmers in Andhra Pradesh during her visit to Krishna district’s Gannavaram. She interacted with the farmers before attending a discussion with agricultural experts at a function hall in Vijayawada.
Several farmers at Jakkulanekkam village met with Nirmala and expressed their concerns over the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy and sugarcane and the lack of crop selling facilities in the local market. A farmer during the brief interaction, told her that providing Rs 2,750 as MSP for sugarcane would not suffice.
Another farmer urged the Finance Minister to facilitate crop loans for sugarcane farmers in the region. After listening to the farmers, Nirmala said that the amendments to the farm bills brought by the Union government were meant for solving farmers' problems.
Later, the Union Minister interacted with the media in Vijayawada. She said "Farmers welfare is the aim of the Modi government. The implementation of the three recent farm bills will favour the farmers. In the past crops could not be sold in other states but now farmers can sell them in other states."
She also said that a minimum 23 crops are being provided with MSP. She has also said that the additional tax burdens on the farmers has been reduced with the new bills as they can now sell their products in any state.
She added that the farmers in the country are welcoming the three new farm bills as they are aimed at reforms.
The Union Finance Minister has also clarified that the Union will not interfere in the selling of crops within the state-run market yards or Rythu bazars (farmer markets). There will not be any taxes if a farmer chose to sell his crops beyond market yards or outside the state.
She also explained that the contract farming agreement terms will not be unilateral but mutual and it will have a format and proforma for the same. She also said that the measures are being taken to address the concerns of the small-scale farmers through 'packages',
The Union Government had recently introduced three farm bills in Parliament — the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Bypass Bill, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill. The President gave his nod to the controversial bills that were passed by Parliament