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Take farmers into confidence, protect their interests: NC

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Jammu: National Conference (NC) leader Devender Singh Rana Thursday said that farmers felt that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and the Essential Commodities Amendment Bill are against their interests. He said the government must take the farmers into confidence, discuss and debate their concerns and address them to their entire satisfaction so that the sustenance of the farmer community is not affected.
“This is the question of the existence of the farmers who put in their hard toil to feed over 1.30 billion Indians,” Rana said while interacting with a delegation of farmers, who are agitating over the farm legislations.
Former MLA Dr Chaman Lal, District President Jammu Rural Naresh Bittu and District President Urban Dharamveer Singh Jamwal also addressed the farmers and expressed solidarity with their just cause.
The NC leader said the government should bring about a law providing legal guarantee for realistic, remunerative and assured minimum support price to the farm produce. The farmers’ needs to be addressed.
All the right thinking people would support them as they constitute the majority of the population, he said, hoping that the government would appreciate the enormity of the situation caused due to countrywide stir. He said the farmers across Jammu are anguished over these bills. The farmers are in distress and require multi-dimensional interventions to improve their lot. However, on the contrary, those confined to their land holdings stand forced to take to streets to express their anguish.
He said its apprehended that the passage of bills could lead to distress sales and the ultimate beneficiaries would be the private sector. This is a situation where in the farmers would find themselves pushed to the wall as these will facilitate contract farming and setting up of private markets outside the designated agency for procurement. Such a scenario is needed to be avoided, keeping in view the huge investment in terms of hard toil being made by the farmers and their families, braving the weather vagaries, he added.

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