PAU’s report on Bihar’s agriculture marketing model puts Capt, Badals in dock: Bhagwant Mann

 .. says the report spells doom for Punjab if farm ordinances get their through: AAP

Chandigarh, July 31

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab President and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann, referring to the sensational report of the study conducted by Punjab Mandi Board through the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana on Bihar’s Agricultural Market Reforms amid the Centre’s ordinances on agriculture, has sought a clarification from Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, BJP’s alliance partners MP Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union Food Processing Minister Bibi Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

In a statement issued from party headquarters on Friday, Bhagwant Mann said the findings of the study clearly indicated imminent ruin of Punjab’s agriculture sector, adding that if the proposed anti-agriculture ordinances were implemented, the ‘mandis’ and agricultural produce would be allowed to be ‘looted’ by of powerful corporate houses and private traders?

He added the Bihar ‘model’ was a fit example of this, which had demolished the Agricultural Producers Market Committee Act (APMCA) in 2006 and handed over the agricultural markets to private hands. However, the then government had rejuvenated the peasantry by enhancing private investment in the agriculture sector, the way the Modi government was forcing disastrous ordinances upon the farmers in the name of agrarian reforms.

Mann said that as per the PAU report, before doing away with the APMCA in 2006, the income of farmers had substantially nosedived from 85 per cent to 57 per cent, adding the trend was still continuing.

The AAP MP said that the eye-opening study report had definitely put a stamp on the  concerns of all the political parties, including the AAP, farmer and farm labor organizations and agro-economists opposing the ordinances, saying that if the Modi government’s deadly agriculture ordinances were implemented in Punjab, the farmers of Punjab and all other sections dependent on agriculture, ‘arhtiyas’, ‘paledars’, small-time shopkeepers, agricultural laborers and transporters would be left to fend for themselves like their Bihar counterparts. To make matters worse, in such a catastrophic arrangement, the declared minimum support price (MSP) for crops would be rendered redundant, allowing corporate houses and big traders to offer arbitrarily low prices of wheat and paddy crops like sugarcane and maize.

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