Govt lockdown package frees farmers from mandi monopoly, strips essentials of stock limits

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New Delhi: The Modi government announced major reforms in the agriculture sector, including freeing farmers from mandi monopoly, as it continued to unveil the contours of its Rs 20 lakh crore lockdown relief package.

At a press conference Friday, the third in as many days with regard to the package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will amend the Essential Commodities Act to exclude cereals, edible oils, oil seeds, pulses, onions and potato. 

The government, she added, will also bring in a central law that will allow farmers to directly sell their produce to buyers of their choice, and even undertake inter-state trade. 

These steps will enable price realisation for Indian farmers, Sitharaman said. “The focus of the announcements so far has been more about empowerment than entitlement,” she added.

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