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Odisha to form panel to study farm bills

Bhubaneswar: Amidst protests against new farm bills cleared in the Parliament, Odisha Government has decided to form a panel to study the provisions of the controversial legislations.

Addressing the MLAs at BJD legislature party meeting a day before commencement of monsoon session on Monday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that BJD has raised its concerns regarding protection of farmers interest in the Farmers bill and suggested for close scrutiny by Parliamentary Committee.

“The party will form a Committee of MLAs, MPs and leading farmer’s leaders to study the provisions. I would like to assure the farmers that their welfare will be paramount in any of our interventions,” Patnaik said in his speech via video conference.

He said that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is in favour of any initiative that will bring prosperity in the lives of farmers.

“We will continue our fight for implementation of M.S.Swaminathan recommendation for formulating Minimum Support Price. This will really help the farmers at large,” the BJD Supremo said.

Worth mentioning, three farm bills — the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill (commonly referred to as the APMC Bypass Bill), and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill – were recently cleared in the Parliament amid ruckus from opposition parties.

Opposing the legislations, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Rajya Sabha demanded to send two bills to the Select Committee for scrutiny.

Moreover, informing the BJD members at the meeting Patnaik said that the party has formed a committee to go through all aspects for new education policy. The party will come up with findings after discussing with various stakeholders.

“Odisha is the first state formed on linguistic basis in the country and we will protect and promote our mother tongue Odia, whether it is in New Education Policy or any other intervention of the Union Government. This will form an important principle to evaluate the Education Policy and in addition to this ‘How rural students will be impacted’ will also be an important criterion,” he said.

In view of present situation due to COVID-19 pandemic, Patnaik asked all the members to actively mobile blood plasma and help in cremation of bodies through Jeeban Bindu and Odisha Mo Parivar programmes.

“Odisha pioneered setting up of dedicated COVID hospitals, Temporary Medical Camps. Empowered Gram Panchayats played vital role in COVID management,” he said lauding COVID warriors and people of Odisha for highest recovery rates and lowest fatality rates the State registered in the country in battle against COVID-19.

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