New Delhi, February 13
Days after the Centre accused the Opposition of U-turn on farm reforms, the Congress hit back citing an old report by a panel led by the then Gujarat CM, Narendra Modi, that had suggested legalisation of the MSP regime.
“What about this U-turn Madam Finance Minister?” Congress whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh asked.
Quoting the 2011 report of the Working Group on Consumer Affairs, Jairam said, “The committee recommendation was that we should protect farmers’ interests by mandating through statutory provisions that no farmer-trader transaction should be below MSP”
The report, which the Congress veteran referred to, says under ‘Enforce MSP’ section: “Enforce MSP since intermediaries play a vital role in the functioning of the market and at times they have advance contracts with the farmers. In respect of all essential commodities, we should protect farmers’ interests by mandating through statutory provisions that no farmer-trader transaction should be below MSP, wherever prescribed.”
PM Modi, replying to the debate on the motion thanking the President’s Address, had quoted former PMs Manmohan Singh and late Chaudhary Charan Singh to ask, “Why is the Opposition making U-turn on farm reforms today?”