TRS to vote against ‘anti-farmer’ Bills in Rajya Sabha

Saturday, September 19th, 2020, 04:09:00 PM IST

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Saturday announced that it will oppose the Farm Bills in the Rajya Sabha, saying they would be an injustice to the farm sector in the country.

Telangana Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrasekhar Rao has directed TRS Parliamentary Party leader Dr. K Keshava Rao to oppose the bills, as they would benefit the corporates and adversely impact the farmers.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said since the Bills will cause heavy losses to the agriculture sector and were against the interests of farmers, the TRS will oppose and vote against these Bills in the Rajya Sabha.

“For public consumption, it was mentioned in the Bills that farmers could sell their produce anywhere in the country. But in reality, the Bills would enable the traders to go anywhere in the country to buy the produce. The Bills would also help the corporate lobby to spread across all corners of the country and pave the way for private traders,” the Chief Minister added.

“They are saying that farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country with these new Bills. But is it possible for farmers to take their small produce to long distance areas bearing the heavy transportation charges and sell it at a fair price? These Bills are nothing but a sugar-coated pill. This should be opposed at all costs,” he said.

“As on date, there is 50 per cent import duty on corn. The Central government has decided to reduce it by 15 per cent and wanted to import one crore tonnes of corn. Already 70 to 75 lakh tonnes of corn was purchased. For whose benefit 35 per cent of import duty was reduced? When the country is going through an economic crisis, how did they take such a decision? Corn is cultivated in a big way in the country. If we reduce the import duty on corn, what will happen to our own corn producers?” KCR asked.

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 already passed by the Lok Sabha will be taken up for discussion and passage in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

BJP’s key ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has quit the Narendra Modi government over the passage of the Farm Bills.