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New farm laws will ultimately help farmers get better returns: CEA

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New farm laws will ultimately help farmers get better returns: CEA
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Mumbai:The Chief Economic Advisor K Subramanian on Monday said that New farm laws will ultimately help farmers get better returns as the legislations provide for competition by allowing them to sell their produce to even corporates like Reliance and ITC for good prices.

While speaking at an event to celebrate the foundation event of NABARD, Subramanian said that the farm laws is a step towards improving the incomes of small and marginal farmers.

Subramanian said the insistence on selling goods only at Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) markets dented farmers' realisations because the buyer who acted as an intermediary had an upper hand in the trade due to factors like it being a perishable commodity or the costs involved in coming to the market again.

"The farm bill provides for competition so that the small and marginal farmer can go to the intermediary and say if you are not going to provide a good price, I can go and sell it to someone else. That someone else could be ITC, Reliance or Farm Fresh" he added.

"The presence of the APMC Acts, which the farm laws seek to do away with, can be traced back to the needs of 13th-century conqueror Alauddin Khilji to feed his big army" Subramanian said, adding that a farmer gets only up to 15 per cent of the value of a commodity with the intermediary making the most.

Apart from the APMC laws, the farm reforms also do away with the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, which do not distinguish between legitimate storage and hoarding of an agri commodity, he added.

Subramanian said the provisions were being used for perverse outcomes, which is visible through the fact that there were over 80,000 raids with only under 2 per cent of them being prosecuted, and its core motive of stabilising prices was not achieved at all.

"The small and marginal farmer has been losing out and his state has not improved significantly despite over 75 years of independence," he said, claiming that the laws along with the agricultural infrastructure fund will be of help.

"The laws will increase farmers' incomes, enable more innovation and push growth in the agricultural sector significantly," he noted.

However, The farm laws that were cleared by Parliament last year received huge criticism and in January 2021,the Supreme Court had suspended their implementation amid protests by farmers.

Critics of the laws have been questioning the manner in which the bills were passed and alleged that the reform will help big businesses by corporatisation of farm activities.

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TAGS:New farm laws CEA K Subramanian 
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