TRS to vote against farm Bills in Rajya Sabha

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TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has asked the party MPs of the Upper House to stoutly oppose the three Bills and vote against them

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), with seven members in the Rajya Sabha, has decided to vote against the farm Bills when they come up before the Upper House on Sunday.

TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has asked the party MPs of the Upper House to stoutly oppose the three Bills and vote against them on the grounds that they are detrimental to the farming community and would cause heavy loss to the agriculture sector.

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He told the TRS leader in Rajya Sabha K. Keshava Rao that the Centre aimed to benefit corporate houses at the cost of farmers by enacting the laws.

“On the face of it, the Centre provided in the Bills that the farmers can sell their produce anywhere. But, the government paved the way for corporates to go anywhere to buy the produce. The corporate sharks can spread their wings throughout the country. Thus, the doors will open to private trade”, a release quoting Mr. Rao said.

Questioning the logic behind the claim that the produce can be sold anywhere, Mr. Rao asked if the farmers were in any position to shift their small quantities of stocks at high transportation costs by lorries to far off places, qlleging that the Bills were like “honey coated knives in the hands of the Centre”.

For instance, Mr. Rao said, there was an import duty of 50% on maize. Reducing the duty to 15 %, the Centre decided to import one crore tonnes of maize. Already, about 75 lakh tonnes of maize was procured. “The 35 % reduction in duty was aimed for whose benefit?” he asked.

Mr. Rao also wondered how the Centre took such a decision when the country was in a financial crisis. “The country was already rich in maize cultivation. What will be the fate of farmers of the country if the Centre goes ahead with maize procurement at reduced duty?” he asked.

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