India will face a crisis if there is a law on minimum support price (MSP) for crops, Anil Ghanwat, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed panel on the farm laws, said on Monday, 22 November, as per ANI.
"If there is going to be a law (on MSP), we (India) will face a crisis. With the law, if the (procurement) process goes down someday, no one will be able to buy the produce as procuring it at a price lower than the MSP will be illegal, and they (traders) will be put in jails for it," Ghanwat, who is president of Shetkari Sanghatana, was quoted as saying by ANI.
His comments came amid demands of legislation on MSP by protesting farmers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, 19 November, had announced that his government would be repealing the three contentious farm laws.
'Law on MSP Not the Solution'
Ghanwat said a law on MSP was not the solution and that the central government and farmer leaders should think of some other ways to boost farm incomes.
"It's going to be a crisis because not only the traders will be harmed but also the stockists and everybody else related to it. Even the commodity market will be disturbed. It will be distorted," he said.
"We are not against MSP, but open-ended procurement is a problem. We require 41 lakh tonnes of grains for buffer stock but procured 110 lakh tonnes. If MSP law is made, all farmers will demand MSP for their crops, and no one will be in a position to earn anything out of that," he added.
'Centre's Decision to Repeal 3 Farm Laws Unfortunate'
He also called the Centre's decision to repeal the three farm laws unfortunate.
"Farmers were demanding reforms for the last 40 years. This is not a good step. The existing system of agriculture is not enough," he said.
"Even if the new laws which were introduced were not very perfect, there were some flaws which needed to be corrected. I think this government had the will to reform agriculture as the earlier governments didn't have the political will. I hope another committee will be formed comprising opposition leaders and farm leaders from all states, and then new farm laws are discussed in the parliament and should be introduced," he added.
Ghanwat said that other than running the country, the government had to do politics as well and that the agitation against the three farm laws had created a "law and order situation".
"So maybe they must have thought that if the situation will remain like this, then the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election will not be easy for them, and they can face losses. So to avert the damage, they must have taken this step," he said.
(With inputs from ANI.)