No plans to enter contract farming: RIL

Reliance Industries has said that it is not in the business of corporate or contract farming and has no plans to enter this business, the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate said in a statement on Monday, clarifying its position in the backdrop of the farmers’ protest.

RIL said it is filing a petition later in the day at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking urgent intervention by government authorities to stop the “illegal acts of vandalism by miscreants.”

“Reliance Industries have not done any “corporate” or “contract” farming in the past, and have absolutely no plans to enter this business. Neither Reliance nor any of our subsidiaries has purchased any agricultural land, directly or indirectly, in Punjab or Haryana or anywhere else in India, for the purpose of “corporate” or “contract” farming,” RIL said.

“We have absolutely no plans to do so.”

Indian farmers have been protesting against the three farm acts that were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020, as they fear it will hurt farmers while benefiting corporates like Reliance Industries. Earlier, some of these protestors allegedly damaged Reliance Jio mobile towers.

The protesting farmers would have discussions for the seventh time later Monday with the centre on resolving this issue.

RIL, which is seen as a beneficiary of the new act by the farmers, also said that it does not buy food grains directly from farmers and that it shall always adhere to the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism or any other mechanism implemented by the government to ensure remunerative price for farm produce.

RIL’s arm Reliance Retail sells food grains and staples, fruits and vegetables, among other products. “It does not purchase any food grains directly from farmers. It has never entered into long-term procurement contracts to gain unfair advantage over farmers or sought that its suppliers buy from farmers at less than remunerative prices, nor will it ever do so.”

The company blamed entities with vested interest and business rivals for instigating and supporting those who vandalised the telecom towers. “Taking advantage of the ongoing farmers’ agitation near the national capital, these vested interests have launched an incessant, malicious and motivated vilification campaign against Reliance, which has absolutely no basis in truth,” the company said.

The company said that contrary to allegations against it, RIL and its affiliates are committed to doing everything to enrich and empower farmers and aim to build strong and equal partnership with them.

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