Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar on Sunday cautioned farmers to guard against people trying to mislead them on the Centre’s farm laws. Khattar asked farmers to be cautious against the “misleading elements” while reiterating that the Centre’s farm laws were meant to benefit them.
With some farmer outfits from Haryana set to join their Punjab counterparts’ November 26-27 ‘Delhi Chalo’ march against the farm laws, Khattar appealed to the peasants from the state to rethink while seeking to assure them that legislations have been enacted to ensure their welfare. “There is no need to hold protests as the farm laws are for farmers’ benefit,” he said.
Making an appeal to the Haryana farmers during his televised address on Sunday evening to the people of the state on the Covid situation, the chief minister said the peasants are being misled by some opposition leaders. “They should be wary of those who are trying to mislead them,” he said. He said the farmers need to understand that the three farm laws will create new avenues for them and they will be able to sell their crops anywhere. “In fact, neither Mandis will be closed nor the Minimum Support Price (MSP) will be discontinued. Rather mandis will be increased,” he said.
He said in Haryana crops like paddy, millet, moong, groundnut, and cotton are also being procured at Minimum Support Price (MSP) by the state. He told farmers that in this season paddy was procured on MSP and in the Rabi season, wheat too will be purchased similarly. Khattar pointed out that some traders and farmers from few districts of Haryana bordering Punjab were supplying urea fertilizer to the other state and asked them not to divert the Haryana farmers’ share of urea to Punjab. Notably, movement of goods trains has remained suspended in neighbouring Punjab for the last few weeks amid the protest by farmer unions against the three central laws that farmers term “draconian”.
“I appeal to farmers and traders not to allow our urea to be diverted there because there is limited supply and the fertilizer for the peasants of our state is given as per need,” he said. Hinting at the benefit to farmers due to the freedom of inter-state movement of corps under the new Central laws, Khattar said unlike Haryana, ‘bajra’ corp is not being procured by the Rajasthan government and this has prompted some Rajasthan farmers to sell their ‘bajra’ in Haryana. Khattar, however, asked Haryana farmers to guard against this trend to protect their interest in the state.
“There are complaints that some of our traders, commission agents, and in some cases some farmers are getting ‘bajra’ from there..,” he said. “I want to caution farmers and traders of our state that for petty benefits, they should not purchase ‘bajra’ from there at a low rate and sell it in Haryana and they must avoid the loss to our state farmers and government as well,” said Khattar.
Sharing his views on the issue of stubble burning, the chief minister said farmers earlier had to burn crop residue because there was no alternative. “But today stubble is being used by cardboard factories and it is also being used as fuel and fodder. Now, the stubble for its various use is also fetching Rs 1,500 per metric tonne,” he said. He also appealed to the farmers to save water and called for growing alternative crops instead of paddy in water-deficient areas.