Dismissing opposition accusations that abolishing the APMC law worked against farmers in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday that in fact the agricultural reforms had benefited farmers, which could be understood the state has reached the highest level ever reached 35.59 lakh metric tons (MT) of paddy supply for the current season.
Responding to a debate on the vote of thanks on the governor’s speech at the joint session of the state legislature on Friday, the chief minister referred to the state’s pioneering efforts to combat the coronavirus and to other initiatives to improve health, electricity, roads, etc. make a comparison with the scenario 15 years ago.
He said the state government had made elaborate arrangements for purchasing paddy and even extended the duration of purchases from farmers and asserted that there was no farmer left with whom paddy should be. bought now.
Bihar abolished the Agricultural Commodity Market Committee (APMC) law in 2006 and also ended the mandi system.
Mr. Kumar supported the centre’s three new agricultural laws with similar content.
Dismissing the opposition’s accusation that agricultural reforms over a decade and a half ago in Bihar worked against farmers who were forced to sell their grain at a much lower price than the MSP, M Kumar released figures to count the virtues of agricultural laws for the state.
Mr Kumar categorically stated that the government would not buy any more paddy during the current season because the traders / middlemen who had bought the grain from the farmers before the procurement process were trying to sell it on behalf of the farmers and this did would not be allowed at any cost.
“Initially, the farmers did not want to sell their paddy in the supply centers. The government sent teams to the villages and motivated them to do so, after which five lakh farmers sold their paddy.
“If anyone now asks for an extension of the date to purchase paddy, then it is certainly not farmers, but rather traders or middlemen who want to sell paddy that they have bought from farmers in a lower price and now want to earn money. does not allow such things to happen, ”Mr. Kumar said.
Paddy purchases in the state ended on February 21.
The state government had extended the deadline for purchasing paddy, which was due to be completed on January 31.
The purchase of paddy was 21.59 MT lakh in 2011-12, he said while pointing out that only 12,000 MT of paddy were purchased in 2000-01 and 72,000 MT in 2004-05 during the RJD regime which had stayed out of the paddy procurement process.
It was his government that strengthened the procurement system in the state and put it through the State Food Corporation, PACS and Vyapar Mandal, Kumar added.
In his 74-minute response, Mr. Kumar spoke about his government’s accomplishments in a variety of areas, from COVID-19, law and order, healthcare facilities, ‘education, availability of energy, increase in per capita income, increase in production and productivity, development of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, etc.
Stating that there has been improvement on the COVID-19 front as the number of cases has declined across the country and in the state as well, he said the state government is cautious and alert and asked the Principal Secretary, Health, to increase testing in order to contain the numbers, particularly amid a sudden surge in cases in some states.
Relying on the issue of law and order, he said Bihar was ranked 25th in crime incidents in the country according to NCRB data, 2019.
Mr Kumar said Bihar saw growth of 10.5% at constant prices in 2019-20. Not only that, the size of Bihars budgets has increased to Rs 2.18 lakh crore in 2021-22 from Rs 23,885 crore in 2004-05.
Comparing the figures with those of the RJD scheme, he said per capita income was Rs 7,914 at constant price in 2004-05, which rose to Rs 50,735 in 2019-20.
Recalling the old days, Kumar said the state could barely pull 700 MW when it took over the state in November 2005, but now the power supply scenario has changed, the State currently pulling 5,932 MW.
In addition, the government decided to install prepaid smart meters to get rid of the meter reading issue or issues related to anomalies in energy bills, he said, adding that he had raised the issue. question of a country’s electricity rate at a recent meeting. of Niti Aayog.
Mr. Kumar said his government has implemented an agriculture roadmap that has helped the state increase both production and productivity of various commodities.
Paddy productivity was 16.4 quintals per hectare in 2005-06, which has risen to 33.50 quintals now, he said and added that wheat productivity has also increased to 25.95 quintals. against 13.79 quintals per hectare.
Likewise, paddy production increased to 108.76 lakh MT currently from 52.18 lakh MT in 2005-06, he said and added that wheat production had increased to 55.79 lakh MT ( currently) of 27.63 lakh MT in 2005-06.
Mr Kumar said his government made the decision to provide water to all agricultural land under the “Saat Nischay (Seven Resolutions) Part 2” program which has already been launched.
Dissatisfied with the government’s response, opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and other opposition parties except AIMIM staged a march at the end of the response.
Later, AIMIM also left the house.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)