Maharashtra govt to bring in new law to protect farmers

The Maharashtra government said on Tuesday that it would bring in new law to book traders who buy goods from farmers at a rate lower than the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the government.

Reuters
Mumbai: The Maharashtra government said on Tuesday that it would bring in new law to book traders who buy goods from farmers at a rate lower than the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the government. Maharashtra revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said a cabinet sub-committee would soon be formed to look into drafting such a law. “we are looking into what we could do for our farmers. One of the things we are looking to do is, if a trader buys from the farmer at a price lower than the MSP, then we will file a case against him,” said Thorat.

The three farm laws enacted by the Centre have faced stiff opposition from several states ruled by non-BJP parties. One of the reasons for the opposition is that there is no mention of MSP in the laws. This led to fears that farmers would get a lesser price than the MSP if the control of the agriculture produce market committees was removed and farmers were allowed to sell directly to traders.

Thorat’s announcement comes even as there are differences within the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra on how to proceed against the Centre’s farm laws. The NCP and Congress are staunchly opposed to the central laws. The Congress leadership had asked states ruled by the party to enact legislation to block the reforms. Maharashtra hasn’t done that, with the Sena not looking very keen on opposing the central laws. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, however, has now agreed to form a cabinet sub-committee to look into the matter.

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