Manpreet Badal mocks Harsimrat’s resignation from cabinet over farm Bills

‘Why wasn’t it done when Cabinet approved ordinances’

Manpreet Badal mocks Harsimrat’s resignation from cabinet over farm Bills

Manpreet Badal. File photo

Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, September 18

Finance Minister Manpreet Badal took a jibe at former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Friday for her resignation from the union cabinet over the farm ordinances and asked why she did not do it sooner.  

Congress leader Badal, who is a cousin of Harsimrat Kaur’s husband, Ferozepur Member of Parliament Sukhbir Badal, said mockingly that the resignation "put on" for the public.

“It is like upar se ladai, ander se bhai-bhai (Fight on the outside, brothers on the inside),” he said of Harsimrat Kaur’s relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre.

Opposing the three farm Bills---- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020---he said the decision to change agricultural processing and market practices was a state subject and the central government decision to change it would be seen as interference.

“State government used to get revenue of Rs 4,000 crore per year from the mandi or market fee. We feel that with this Bill, trader can make purchase anywhere without paying any fee to the state and if government does not get this revenue, then how state government generate revenue for expenditure like maintenance of 65,000 km long rural roads”.

He also accused the central government was trying to abolish Minimum Support Prices for unlimited produce through the Bills.

Badal wondered why Harmsimrat Kaur, a former union minister for Food Processing Industries, chose to time her resignation with the intensifying protests by farmers across Punjab instead of doing it when the ordinances were first introduced and approved by the Cabinet in June.

Badal also accused Harsmirat Kaur’s party Shiromani Akali Dal of “spreading lies” that the finance minister had given his approval for the ordinances at a high-power committee meeting.

He also asked for altering the parameters of the crop insurance scheme to suit Punjab.

Harsimrat Kaur resigned from the union cabinet hours after Lok Sabha passed two of the three controversial bills---the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020’ and the ‘Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020’.

The Bills follow three ordinances of similar nature that were approved by the Cabinet at a meeting in June.

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