CHANDIGARH/ NEW DELHI: At the receiving end of the ire of farmers protesting against Centre’s three agrimarketing laws, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Monday told the Punjab and Haryana HC that it has absolutely no plans, now or in the future, to enter into corporate or contract farming. It also blamed “vested interests” and “business rivals” for vandalisation of the company’s telecom towers in Punjab.
“The Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and its parent company, including its retail arm Reliance Retail Limited have not purchased any agricultural land anywhere in India for the purpose of corporate or contract farming and have no plans, now or in the future to do so. The business practices of the petitioner, including its affiliates, are in favour of and in furtherance of farmers’ interest,” Reliance Jio Infocomm said in a petition. The announcement came against the backdrop of the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate alleging that vandalism during the farmers’ agitation has damaged its network infrastructure and forced closure of its stores leading to losses to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees.
The petition said, “The petitioner shares the aspiration of farmers to get a fair price for what they produce and seek an augmentation of their incomes, and pledge to work towards this goal. The petitioner, its parent entity, and its affiliates shall insist that their suppliers strictly abide by MSP mechanism, and or any other mechanism for remunerative price for farm produce, as may be determined and implemented by the government.” The petition is expected to come up for hearing on Tuesday.