Amend farm laws to protect MSP, Maharashtra tells Centre

Three-party alliance has already expressed unwillingness to implement them per se

The Maharashtra government will write to the Centre asking it to introduce an amendment in the three controversial farm laws to ensure no farm produce will be purchased at rates below the minimum support price (MSP) at the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC).

A Cabinet sub-committee formed to discuss the implementation of the laws, which are being opposed by farmers for last four months, held its first meeting on Tuesday headed by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

After the meeting, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat told reporters, “These laws are anti-farmer. They do not guarantee MSP and we believe that it should be mentioned in the law. We discussed these amendments and further action will be taken to this effect.”

Urban Development Department Minister Eknath Shinde said, “All three parties [Congress, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party] are unanimous on a stand that farmers should not get less than MSP and an Act to this effect is a necessity. We will be writing to the Central government to this effect.”

The three parties have already expressed their unwillingness to implement the laws as they are. A senior Minister, who was part of the meeting, said the State government knows its limitations. “After all these are Centre’s laws and we need to give solid reasons for delaying or not implementing them. We also discussed the action taken by Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan governments and will follow up with the Centre.”

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