Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. (Photo/ANI)
Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. (Photo/ANI)

Bhupinder Hooda urges Centre to assure MSP, says 'don't mislead by quoting Cong-era contract farming rules selectively'

ANI | Updated: Sep 23, 2020 16:15 IST

By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): As the Central government decides to attack the Opposition using Haryana's contract farming rules implemented by the Congress, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, under whose tenure the legislation was implemented, mounted an attack on the Centre for "citing rules selectively".
Hooda urged the Centre to introduce a fourth Bill in Parliament assuring Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers for their produce.
Speaking to ANI, Hooda said that nowhere in the contract farming rules did he dilute the MSP assurance to farmers.
Quoting from the rule, he also read out rule 6 from Haryana government notification.
"The agreed rate or contract rate shall not be less than minimum support price of the proceeding year....where there is no minimum support price, and no agreed rate, the amount of security shall be calculated at the rate of 15 per cent of the prevailing market rate of agreement," said Hooda while quoting the rules.
The leader of Opposition in Haryana Assembly said, "The contract farming agreement between the sponsor and contract farming producer should get registered with district marketing enforcement officer concerned in presence of both parties."
While responding to a statement of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to the media, Hooda stated, "he (Prasad) being a Minister should not selectively quote rules" and added that "the protest against the Bill will end if the government announces MSP for all farmers."
"Our demand is to bring the fourth Bill that contract agreement should not be less than MSP. Buying produce on less than MSP should be punishable by law. MSP calculations should be on C2 formula and on Swaminathan Committee report. In Haryana, the mandis are full of crops but there is no sale. There is a distress sale," the senior Congress leader said.
The Centre, in order to counter opposition on farm Bills, had cited Congress' election manifestos and contract farming implementation in Haryana.
On the allegations that the farmers' protest was being fuelled by the Congress, Hooda said, "I am above party politics and son of a farmer. If they will bring the Bill, I will welcome. I want them to bring the fourth Bill to ensure MSP. If they are saying they will give, then what is the glitch in bringing the Bill?"
As far as government's claim that farm bills have done away with the middleman is concerned, the former Haryana Chief Minister said that "aarthis" (brokers) are helpful for farmers and have become ATM for them.
Congress and other Opposition parties have been boycotting the proceedings of the Parliament over the government "not agreeing" to suggestions of the Opposition on the agriculture Bills and non-revocation of suspension of Rajya Sabha MPs.
Eight opposition MPs were also suspended by the Rajya Sabha Chairman on Monday over the ruckus and the unruly scenes in the house on Sunday.
The Parliament recently passed Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill,2020. (ANI)