Agriculture laws were passed in Parliament after extensive deliberations: President Kovind

New Delhi : President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday lauded the central government for bringing various reforms in the agriculture sector to make it modern and beneficial for farmers.
He said the three agricultural bills (now laws) were passed in Parliament seven months ago, after “extensive deliberations”.
Kovind, in his address to a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, said the government had decided to give minimum support price (MSP) one-and-a-half times more than the cost, following the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission.
“In the last six years, the government has attempted a positive change in every system of agriculture sector from seed to market, so that Indian agriculture can become modern and agriculture can also expand. My government had also decided to give MSP one-and-a-half times more than the cost, following the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. Today my government is not only purchasing record quantity on MSP but also increasing the number of procurement centres,” he said.
Kovind said, after “extensive deliberations”, seven months ago, the Parliament passed three important agrarian reforms namely — the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Simplification) Bill, the Agriculture (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Agreement Bill, and the Essential Commodities Amendment Bill.
“These agricultural reforms started benefitting more than 10 crore small farmers immediately. Many political parties had given full support to these reforms from time to time only after realising these benefits to small farmers. At present, the implementation of these laws has been postponed by the country’s highest court. My government will respect and follow the Supreme Court’s decision in full respect,” he added.
President said his government wants to make it clear that there was no cutailment in the rights and facilities to farmers before the formation of the three farm laws, “in fact with these new agricultural reforms the government has provided new facilities and rights to farmers.”
The President said it is the need of the hour that special attention should be paid to the small and marginal farmers who have only one or two hectares of land in the agricultural sector.
“More than 80 per cent of all farmers in the country are small farmers and their number is more than 10 crore. In 2013-14, where only 42 lakh hectares of land had the facility of micro-irrigation, today more than 56 lakh hectares of additional land has been connected with micro-irrigation. Small and marginal farmers are also a priority for my government. To support such farmers in their small expenses, around Rs 1,13,000 crores have been transferred directly to their accounts, under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi,” he said.
The first part of the ongoing Budget session will continue till February 15. The second part of the session will be held from March 8 to April 8. Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm and Lok Sabha from 4 pm to 9 pm with Zero Hour and Question Hour. (Agency)