Former Haryana Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday said there was a requirement for agricultural reforms but “there is not any reflection of reforms within the new laws” and that they needed to be scrapped.

He said the farm laws were passed with none consultations with the farmers, and thus the Centre must call a Parliament session, repeal these laws and begin the reform process afresh.

“We aren’t against reforms but the present laws must be repealed and fresh reform process initiated after consultations with stakeholders,” said the previous Haryana CM.

On the difficulty of 2019 Congress manifesto promising to abolish the APMC Act, a matter flagged by Union Minister Shankar Prasad on Monday, Hooda said the BJP was “misrepresenting facts”.

“We promised to require the mandis near the farmers and in Haryana we did that. In my very own village we’ve found out purchase centres at every 10 km for a population of 10,000,” he said.

The senior Congress leader questioned the govt on why it didn’t comply with the opposition demand for bringing a fourth law notifying anyone who buys below MSP would be punished.

Hooda also said the Haryana Government had lost the trust of the people and therefore the Assembly thanks to mishandling of the farmers agitation and will face a ‘vote of no confidence’.

Insisting that the Bharat Bandh on Tuesday was successful, Hooda urged the Haryana Governor to call an emergency session of the state Assembly and permit a floor test.

“Seven of the ten MLAs of BJP ally JJP have dissociated from the govt on the farmers issue and three Independents have also done so. the govt is in minority and that we will move a no confidence vote the day a session is named ,” he said.

The Congress veteran cited examples from his time as CM in Haryana and said the contract farming agreement was strict and such the farmer interests were protected unlike in current laws.

“Our August 9, 2007 notification in Haryana says the contract farming agreement between sponsor and producer shall be registered with district marketing enforcement offices within the presence of both parties and therefore the agreed rate and contract rate shall not be but MSP of preceding year. It says where there’s no MSP, amount of security are going to be 15 per cent of prevailing market rate for that crop.”

Hooda said there was no such safety within the Central farm laws.

He also mentioned that the report of the working party on agriculture, which he chaired during the UPA times, to mention one among the panel recommendations was that banks can’t charge quite 4 per cent rate of interest to farmers who return short term crop loans in time.

In Haryana, he said, this interest was scrapped altogether.


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