When the Union government enacted three contentious farm laws in 2020, Prime Minister Modi said they were part of his plan to double farmers’ income. Farmers saw beyond the rhetoric. In the laws, they saw attempts to help business elites, and accused Adani Group of benefiting most from the laws.
Farmers had to be better than most of us in reading the cues because their livelihood hinged on deciphering nature’s signals. The Reporters’ Collective can now reveal that the Adani Group discreetly lobbied with the government to remove restrictions on hoarding agricultural commodities. And one of the Centre’s three contentious farm laws, enacted two years later, did just what Adani had asked for by removing restrictions on hoarding agricultural commodities.
Adani Group had lobbied through a task force set up by Niti Aayog in 2018 to double farmers’ income.
In the first part of this investigative series, we delved into the hush-hush origins of the task force set up by Niti Aayog that consulted mostly with businessmen to find ways to double farmers’ income. In this concluding part of the series, we thrust open the doors of the task force behind which the conglomerate candidly advocated the removal of restrictions on corporate companies hoarding agricultural commodities.
This is the first recorded instance of the Adani Group's official advocacy for the repeal of the Essential Commodities Act that limits companies from hoarding agricultural produce.
The group’s underlying message was: what’s good for business corporations was good for farmers.
When the government finally curtailed the Essential Commodities Act through one of the farm laws, it was a boon for conglomerates such as the Adani Group whose fortunes have grown on the back of agriculture.
Click here to read the investigative story by Shreegireesh Jalihal that illuminates the corporate influence on agricultural policies of the Union government.