'No plans to enter contract farming': Key takeaways from the Reliance Industries' media statement

Reliance Industries Limited has not done any “corporate” or “contract” farming in the past, and has no plans to do so, the company said in a statement released to the media on Monday.

The statement came on a day that RIL filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking to bring an end to incidents of vandalism of RIL's subsidiary Jio Infocomm's towers.

The statement said, "These acts of violence have endangered the lives of thousands of its employees and caused damage and disruption to the vital communications infrastructure, sales and service outlets run by its subsidiaries in the two states."

On Reliance Retail, the statement said that the firm "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."

Further, Reliance Retail has "built India’s largest organised retail business by investing in economies of scale and creating world-class technology-enabled supply chains, which has brought significant gains to both Indian farmers and consumers," the company noted.

As a mark of protest against the Centre's new farm laws, agitating farmers have vandalised about 1,500 Jio towers, according to reports. The protesting farmers have expressed fears that the new laws will benefit corporates and will leave cultivators vulnerable at the hands of private players. In particular, they have expressed concerns that the laws could lead to the eventual dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) and Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) systems.

On this issue, RIL's statement on Monday said, "...We shall insist on our suppliers to strictly abide by the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism, and/or any other mechanism for remunerative price for farm produce, as may be determined and implemented by the government."

Earlier, Jio and ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce  wrote to Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, seeking his intervention for action against incidents of vandalisation. ASSOCHAM wrote in its letter, "Such incidents not only result in a huge national loss but also severely dent the image of a progressive state. A prolonged and continuation of the agitation, especially with incidents of damage to the industrial and other infrastructure, would turn investors away from the state of Punjab”.

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