DMK is a corporate company: Palaniswami

Public outing: Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami addressing presspersons in Salem.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The DMK is not a political party but a corporate company, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said here on Thursday.

Reacting to the corruption charges levelled by Opposition leader M.K. Stalin, Mr. Palaniswami, referring to the 2G spectrum allocation case, said the DMK had looted funds to the tune of ₹1.76 lakh crore and its corruption was equivalent to the State budget.

He said the case was taken up by the UPA government when the DMK was a part of the Cabinet.

Speaking about the farm protests in New Delhi, Mr. Palaniswami said the laws passed by the Centre to deregulate the agriculture sector will protect farmers from losses they suffer because of low prices for their produce.

A similar law was enacted by the Tamil Nadu government in 2019 itself, he said.

“When there is more production, the prices of the produce will come down, and the new laws will protect farmers as contractors will have to pay the prices as per the agreement. Farmers will not get a low price. What is wrong in it? No farmer is compelled to sign the contract. It is their choice.”

The Chief Minister said the Centre had only implemented a law which was passed by the State government in 2019.

“The State government is ready to make amends if there are shortcomings in the law,” he said. He asked farmers’ organisations for their views on the law and they responded that they were for it, he said.

Mr. Palaniswami said the new law states that the earlier law would come into force in times of war, famine or drought. “Hence, there will be no room for hoarding. Farmers will only gain profits through the new law,” he said.

“In Punjab and Haryana, farmers can sell their produce only through agents. Agents have to be paid a 2% commission, 3% tax has to be paid to the local administration and 3% has to be paid to their society. To sell a sack of paddy, ₹80 has to be paid in taxes. In Tamil Nadu, if traders are selling through a market committee, only 1% in tax is collected. As per the new law, taxes cannot be collected if the produce is sold outside markets. Isn’t this good? Also, farmers can sell their produce across their country,” he said.

Asked about the protest by the PMK demanding reservation for the Vanniyars, though the party is part of the ruling coalition, the Chief Minister said a party’s policy and electoral alliance were different.

“This is a democratic country and everyone has the right to put forward his demands. We feel that it will be right if reservation is proportionate to the population of a community. Steps have been taken in this regard,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 4:11:00 AM |

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