Mumbai: Agriculture reform bill to protect farmers’ interest, says Thorat

A group of senior ministers, led by revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat, met NCP chief and former union agriculture minister on Wednesday to discuss the state’s proposed new agriculture reform bill that will ensure minimum support price (MSP) to farmers and propose action against traders in the event of non-payment to farmers.

The government proposes to table the bill in the coming monsoon session. The MVA government has already opposed the Centre’s three farm laws and put them on hold in the state.

‘’Three Central farm laws are anti-farmers so the Maharashtra government will introduce an agriculture reform bill that protects their interests. The bill will be introduced in the coming monsoon session, said Thorat. ‘’Three laws enacted by the Centre have devastated the farming community. The state government in the bill has proposed that any trader can buy agricultural produce through PAN card. The bill has a provision to take action in case of cheating,’’ he noted.

Thorat said a delegation met Pawar to take his guidance as he has contributed greatly in the field of agriculture. ‘’Pawar expressed satisfaction over the reforms proposed in the bill and also made key suggestions,’’ he added.

Agriculture Minister Dadaji Bhuse said that the Central Government's regulations regarding crop insurance are applicable all over the country. ‘’This year, Rs 5,800 crore has been deposited towards crop insurance but the farmers could get a compensation of Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 crore only. Private insurers made a profit of Rs 5,000 crore. We have repeatedly approached the Central Government in this regard as it is unjust. I have personally met the Union Agriculture Minister. Even yesterday, the Chief Minister has brought this issue to the notice of the Prime Minister,’’ he added.

The government proposes to limit the profits of insurance companies by extending the Cup and Cap model, which is currently applicable in Beed district, to the entire state.

Co-operation Minister Balasaheb Patil said, "We will present the Agriculture Reforms Bill in the coming session. For this, we are constantly meeting to discuss the draft." In addition, the Centre has amended the Banking Regulation Act and posed a serious threat for the survival of the cooperative banking sector.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Cooperation Vishwajeet Kadam said, “We are talking to the urban co-operative banks. The central government's ploy is to demolish the cooperative sector in the state.

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