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Retired civil servants issue statement in support of farm sector laws

ANI | Updated: Sep 28, 2020 21:18 IST

New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): A group of former public servants on Monday lent its support to the farm reform laws enacted by the Centre government and condemned the "surreptitious practices of vested interests" which it claimed were misleading and misguiding the farmers and discrediting the well-intentioned national initiatives.
The farm bills passed by Parliament mark a watershed in the liberation of India's farming community from the shackles of exploitative practices that slow pedalled their progress, a statement signed by 32 former civil servants said.
The Government has introduced a definite game-changer in the life of the Indian farmer through the far-sighted legislations. 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, the group said.
The statement listed out the proposed benefits of the laws, including that farmers can sell their products wherever they want without any interstate or intrastate restrictions and that they could can enter into contracts with any potential, buyer or exporter at his choice.
The group of retired civil servants said: "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," the statement by the group alleged.
The former civil servants pointed out that the historic legislation, coupled with the various economic development packages announced by the government in the recent past, will definitely pave the way for the upward rise of the farming community, bringing in phenomenal progress to them. The bills create fair and free eco-system for the farmers. It also ignites in the farmers a sense of entrepreneurial freedom without the risk of trader exploitation.
They also said that "It is pertinent to note that the emancipation of the farmers from the middlemen and empowering them with the freedom to choose where and how to sell their produce was enshrined in the manifestos of certain political forces which oppose it now."
The statement was signed by 32 retired IAS officers including former finance secretary S Narayan, former banking secretary D K Mittal, former defence secretary G Mohan Kumar, former petroleum secretary Saurabh Chandra, and former civil aviation secretary K N Srivastava.
Lending their support to the laws, the former bureaucrats 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. If India is developed as one market for them, and if private parties purchase their products, the farmers have nothing to lose." (ANI)