Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will vote against the farmer Bills introduced in Rajya Sabha and the party MPs will oppose the Bills “tooth and nail”.
The party supremo and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has described the Bills as ‘traders-friendly rather than farmer-friendly’ and would benefit only the corporate sector and cause adverse impact on farmers. A press release issued by the CMO on Saturday says Rao had a telephonic conversation with TRS Parliamentary Party leader K Keshava Rao to guide the party MPs on the issue. Using its sheer numeral strength in the Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA government got the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, passed. The Bills are scheduled to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.
The party president told Keshava Rao that farmers and farming related Bills scheduled to be introduced by the Centre in the Rajya Sabha, would cause harm to the farm sector in the country. He observed that for the public consumption, it was being claimed that the Bills would empower farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country. “But in reality, the Bills would only enable the traders to go anywhere in the country to buy the produce as the farmers seldom travel to faraway places to sell their crops,” he said.
Chandrashekhar Rao strongly felt that the Bills would help the corporate lobby to spread to all corners in the country and pave way to the private traders. “They (Centre) are saying that farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country with these new Bills. But is it feasible for farmers to take their small quantity of produce to long distance areas bearing the heavy transport charges and sell it at good price? These Bills are nothing but a sugar coated pill. This should be opposed at all costs,” he said.
Further, the Chief Minister also found fault with the Centre’s decision to reduce the import duty from 50 per cent to 15 per cent allowing import of one crore tonnes of maize from abroad. He pointed out that the Centre had already procured 70-75 lakh tonnes of maize. “Whom does the Centre want to benefit at a time when the nation is facing an economic crisis? We have plenty of maize produced in the country. What is the Centre’s intention behind reducing the import duty by 35 per cent and allowing imports of maize? What will happen to our farmers and their produce?” he demanded to know.
Since the Bills to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha, will cause huge losses to the agriculture sector and are against the interests of farmers in the country, Chandrashekhar Rao instructed the TRS MPs to oppose them and vote against them in the Rajya Sabha.