Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 28
Amid intensifying agitation by farmers, senior retired civil servants from across the country, including from Punjab and Haryana, on Monday came out in support of the controversial farm bills and condemned the “surreptitious practices of vested interest for misleading and misguiding the farmers and discrediting the well intentioned national initiatives”.
“The farm bills passed by the Parliament mark the watershed in the liberation of India’s farming community from the shackles of exploitative practices that slow pedaled their progress,” says the statement signed by senior IAS officers, including former Haryana Chief Secretary Dharam Vir, former Haryana Additional CS G. Prasanna Kumar, former Punjab Principal Secretary Ramesh Chander Nayyar and former Chairman SEIAA, Haryana, Bharat Bhushan, and circulated by the ruling BJP.
“We have reasons to apprehend the disinformation which certain sections within our society are trying to spread in the country. We have recent instances of untruths and distortions being paraded before the public with hugely negative impact on the morale of the minorities, students, and now the farmers. The general public has every reason to suspect attempts by well-known vested interests to destabilise the country and create disaffection among the minorities, students and farmers,” they said.
While calling the legislations “definite game-changer in the life of the Indian farmer” and “far-sighted” they said despite categorical assurances from the Union Agriculture Minister, vehemently reiterated by the Prime Minister, that minimum support price mechanism (MSP) shall remain as ever before, “it is objectionable to incite the farmers and create disaffection in their mind by wrongly suggesting that their interests are being bartered in favour of multinational concerns”.
“In fact, wherever the farmers are suffering, they are suffering because of inadequate local marketing facilities leading to their exploitation by middlemen.
“Major impediments which retarded the seamless growth of the farming fraternity of India are given the go by through the passage of these monumental Acts.
“We strongly support the well-meaning efforts of the government in bringing succor to the farming community who has fed the nation over the years, converting India from a food deficit to a food surplus economy. Our group condemns the surreptitious practices of vested interest for misleading and misguiding the farmers and discrediting the well intentioned national initiatives,” they added.
Meanwhile, after early announcement of Kharif rice procurement, sources say the government is planning to make procurement in the Rabi season, for which MSP has already been announced, an ideal case to prove wrong the rival parties who are leading the “misinformation campaign” against the provisions.