Middlemen behind farm protest: Minister

Union Minister for Power and Renewable R. K. Singh termed the ongoing farmers’ strike as a protest taken out by middlemen and not farmers.

Interacting with media persons here on Sunday, the Minister for Power and Renewable Energy, said it was a protest by middlemen from Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh. No farmers from elsewhere in the country are participating in the protest. Middlemen, who were reaping huge profits, were behind the protest. Those who are protesting should explain how the provisions of the three farm legislations would adversely affect the farmers, he said.

Referring to the Budget proposals, Mr. Singh said Kerala would benefit substantially from the proposals.

Kerala will have nine new railway projects including the electrification of railway lines. Kochi harbour is one among the five fishing harbours in the country that have been selected for upgradation.

The centre has also cleared the second phase of the Kochi metro rail project. The government will make substantial contributions for the second phase of the project, he said. The Minister hinted that the power distribution sector would be opened up and more private players would come in. The move will lead to the improvement in the quality of service. The customers will benefit from the better pricing of power as there would be competition among the operators, he said. Over the past five years, India, which was a power-deficient country, made a turnaround and became a power surplus country. Currently, the country is exporting power to Bangladesh and Nepal, he said.

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