Published On: Mon, Dec 7th, 2020

Sharad Pawar as Agriculture Minister in 2010 wanted private sector by amending APMC Act

New Delhi: While Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has threatened that the farmers agitation will not be limited to just Delhi, a 2010 letter of Pawar as Union Agriculture Minister has surfaced where he is canvassing with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to amend the APMC Act to allow private sector participation.

Pawar mentioned that he had written two earlier letters in 2005 and 2007 on this issue

This step is exactly what the Modi government has done now which is coming under fire from Opposition leaders like the Maratha strongman.

In a letter dated August 11, 2010, Pawar, the then Agriculture Minister in the UPA 1 government wrote to Dikshit in which he said private sector participation in the agriculture sector is essential for which an appropriate regulatory and policy environment needs to be in place.

“As you are aware, the agriculture sector needs well functioning markets to drive growth, employment and economic prosperity in rural areas of the country. This requires huge investments in marketing infrastructure including cold chain,” Pawar wrote to Dikshit.

“In this context, the need to amend the present State APMC Act on the lines of Model State Agricultural Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act 2003 to encourage the private sector in providing alternative competitive marketing channels in the overall interest of farmers/producers and consumers cannot be overemphasised”, Pawar said.

Pawar mentioned that he had written two earlier letters in 2005 and 2007 on this issue.

“I may mention that the Ministry of Agriculture has also circulated draft Model APMC Rules, 2007 to all the states/UTs for their guidance and adoption as appropriate”, Pawar said to Dikshit.

“I wish to draw your personal attention to this matter of considerable importance to the agriculture sector and the well being of the farmers and request that suitable directions may be given for taking necessary steps without further delay”.

Pawar is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9 over the ongoing farmers’ protest against agrarian laws.

Pawar said today that the Centre should act with maturity and take cognizance of the farmers’ agitation who have been protesting for more than 10 days against the farm laws.

Pawar also said the farmers’ protest would not be limited to Delhi and farmers from other areas could also join.

“Farmers of Punjab and Haryana are providing rice and wheat on a large scale. India is exporting food grains to 13 countries in which Punjab and Haryana are playing a big role. If farmers of Punjab and Haryana are protesting, the government should take cognizance but unfortunately, that is not happening,” Pawar says now as per reports.

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