No plans of entering corporate farming business: Reliance

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | January 4, 2021 11:21:13 am

Customers stand outside a Reliance Fresh Ltd. store in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Monday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking urgent intervention of the government to stop the vandalism of towers and telecom infrastructure owned by Jio. The Mukesh Ambani-owned telecom unit alleged that the acts of vandalism were aided by “business rivals”. It also said that the firm has “immense gratitude” and the “greatest respect” for India’s kisans and is committed to do everything to enrich and empower them.

In a press release, the company 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. The miscreants indulging in vandalism have been instigated and aided by vested interests and our business rivals.”

Of the 9,000 tower sites that Jio has in Punjab, power supply to about 1,800 had been either cut off or been disconnected.

RIL added that the rivals are taking advantage of the ongoing farmers’ protest to malign the company and denied any plans of pursuing contract farming. “The miscreants indulging in vandalism have been instigated and aided by vested interests and our business rivals. 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 release read. “Reliance Industries Limited have not done any ‘corporate’ or ‘contract’ farming in the past, and have absolutely no plans to enter this business.”

To establish that “Reliance has nothing whatsoever to do with the three farm laws” being debated in the country at present, it have put the following “irrefutable facts” before the court:

# Reliance Retail Limited (RRL), Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), or any other affiliate of their parent company, i.e., Reliance Industries Limited 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 its subsidiaries has purchased any agricultural land, directly or indirectly, in Punjab/Haryana or anywhere else in India, for the purpose of “corporate” or “contract” farming. They have absolutely no plans to do so.

# Reliance Retail is an unmatched leader in organised retail business in India. It retails products of all categories including food grains and staples, fruits and vegetables, items of daily use, apparels, medicines, electronic products of various brands belonging to independent manufacturers and suppliers in the country. 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.

# Reliance has immense gratitude and the greatest respect for India’s kisans, who are the “Anna data” of 1.3 billion Indians. Reliance and its affiliates are committed to doing everything to enrich and empower them. As customers of their services, it believes in building a strong and equal partnership with Indian farmers on the basis of shared prosperity, inclusive development and an equitable New India.

# Therefore, Reliance and its affiliates fully share and support the aspiration of Indian farmers to get a fair and profitable price on a predictable basis for what they produce with exemplary hard work, innovation and dedication. Reliance seeks significant augmentation of their incomes on a sustainable basis, and pledges to work towards this goal. Indeed, it shall insist on its 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.

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