AHMEDABAD: In the wake of the rollback of three agri marketing laws by the Centre following protests by farmers, former Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Friday said state governments should be encouraged to handle contract farming, one of the aspects covered by the now repealed legislation.
"I agree that we need modernisation of farm laws. There are three different farm laws here. One is on contract farming. See, farmers are not forced to have contracts. I think state governments should be encouraged to define whatever rules they want on contract farming and let them do it," he said.
He was speaking at a virtual meeting organised by Ahmedabad University on the subject 'Lessons for post-pandemic India'.
"I think the real problem is about mandis. What has happened there is that we suddenly found a rise in suspicion about the corporate sector. Nowadays, the corporate sector is crony. If India is going to be a major economy, let's be clear that it's going to have some large Indian corporates," said Ahluwalia.
"And if you say the presence of a large Indian corporate means a sign of crony capitalism, you are condemning India to a sort of a very backward, but then that's how politics works," he further said.
He said the farmers opposed the three agri marketing laws as they were "somehow convinced" these were made to help corporates and that cultivators will be at the mercy of large firms.
"Somehow, farmers seem to have been convinced that this is designed to throw them at the mercy of one or two large corporates. Though the government has already said they do not intend to abolish mandis, it has to be made very clear," he added.