Maha govt to ban purchase of farm produce below MSP

RSTV Bureau

To control the anger of agitating farmers in Maharashtra, the state government has decided to bring in a law to make buying produce from farmers at prices lower than the minimum support price a crime.

The decision was announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday night after farmers boning to at least 13 districts of the state took to streets on Thursday.

Incidents of violence, including attempt to disrupt supply of vegetables and milk to Mumbai and other cities, marked farmers’ `strike which started on Thursday in Maharashtra.

The farmers have launched the agitation to press various demands including a loan waiver.

Nashik farmers throwing onions and vegetables during their protest

Nashik farmers throwing onions and vegetables during their protest

Curfew was imposed in Yeola in Nashik district where 14 policemen were injured in stone pelting.

Saying that state government will not be able to announce loan waivers to all the 1.34 crore farmers in the State  Chief M Saying that state government will not be able to announce loan waivers to all the 1.34 crore farmers in the State  Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked farmers to withdraw their agitation.

Fadnavis said that government has received news that several milk co-operatives have refused to accept milk from farmers.

Mr. Fadnavis said 31 lakh farmers who are outside the institutional credit system will be considered. “A committee has been working on it and the decision will be announced at the right time. The government will need ₹30,000 crore if it decides to waive off loans given to 31 lakh farmers.”

On the first day of the farmers’strike, the State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) announced a new credit plan for 2017-18 worth ₹54,000 crore, or ₹3,500 crore more than the previous year’s plan. In 2016-17, the government managed to achieve 82% of the target.

Mr. Fadnavis said the government intends to expand the credit base for farmers. “Around 13 District Central Cooperative Banks have no liquidity left, and will now act as agents of nationalised and commercial banks. The strategy for this will be decided in a week’s time. We will ensure that credit flow to farmers isn’t compromised.”

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while expressing willingness to hold talks with the agitating farmers, alleged that it was the opposition NCP and Congress who were instigating them.

A committee has been asked to suggest measures to resolve farmers’ issues, he said.

Protesters in Satara, Kolhapur and Nashik districts tried to disrupt supply of milk and vegetables to Mumbai last night.

Police in several districts provided protection to milk tankers heading towards the state capital. Gokul Dairy supplies seven lakh litres of milk per day to Mumbai, which has daily need of 55 lakh litres, said Dattatray Ghanekar, MD of Gokul Dairy.

“Vegetable and fruit supplies have remained largely unaffected in the Navi Mumbai Agriculture Produce Market Committee, which supplies produce to Mumbai and neighbouring districts. There has been no decrease in the quantity we get every day,” Satish Soni, administrator of Navi Mumbai APMC, told media.

In Nashik, farmers are also opposing the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur `Samruddhi Corridor’ (expressway), which will require acquisition of farmland.inister Devendra Fadnavis asked farmers to withdraw their agitation.

Devendra_fadnavis1

Police in several districts provided protection to milk tankers heading towards the state capital. Gokul Dairy supplies seven lakh litres of milk per day to Mumbai, which has daily need of 55 lakh litres, said Dattatray Ghanekar, MD of Gokul Dairy.

“Vegetable and fruit supplies have remained largely unaffected in the Navi Mumbai Agriculture Produce Market Committee, which supplies produce to Mumbai and neighbouring districts. There has been no decrease in the quantity we get every day,” Satish Soni, administrator of Navi Mumbai APMC, told media.

In Nashik, farmers are also opposing the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur `Samruddhi Corridor’ (expressway), which will require acquisition of farmland.