Reliance Approaches Punjab, Haryana High Courts Over Vandalism Incident; Says ‘No Plan To Enter Corporate Farming’

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New Delhi: In the wake of the recent vandalism incidents, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) knocked the doors of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today seeking that the government safeguard its assets and services in both the states against the “miscreants” who damaged number of its telecom towers few days ago.

As per the company, the mobile service installations were damaged allegedly by farmers angry over the company’s perceived role in framing three agricultural laws recently passed by Parliament.

In a petition filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday, the company has sought the urgent intervention of Government authorities to bring a complete stop to the “illegal acts” of vandalism by miscreants.

In a statement, the RIL said that 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.

In a statement released, the company has stated: “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.”

It has sought punitive and deterrent action against miscreants and vested interests

Elaborating further, it said “the falsehood of the campaign becomes crystal clear from the following irrefutable facts, which we have placed before the Honourable High Court. These facts establish that Reliance has nothing whatsoever to do with the three farm laws currently debated in the country, and in no way benefits from them. As such, the sole nefarious purpose of linking the name of Reliance to these laws is to harm our businesses and damage our reputation.”

It listed down several points emphasizing that it has no plans to enter agriculture business. It stated that Reliance Retail Limited (RRL), Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), or any other affiliate of our 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 our 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. We have absolutely no plans to do so,” it stated.

Reliance Retail does not purchase any food grains directly from farmers and 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 statement read.

“We at Reliance have 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, we believe in building a strong and equal partnership with Indian farmers on the basis of shared prosperity, inclusive development and an equitable New India,” it said.

Reliance said it seeks significant augmentation of  farmers’ incomes and said that it 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.

The company enumerated how the businesses of Reliance have actually benefited the farmers and the Indian public at large:

  1. Reliance Retail has built India’s largest organized 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.
  2. Jio’s fully 4G network has provided world-class data connectivity to every single village in India at the most affordable rates anywhere in the world, thus bringing the benefits of the Digital Revolution to crores of Indian farmers. In just four short years, Jio has become India’s largest digital service provider, with 40 crore loyal customers. As of 31st October 2020, Jio has more than 140 lakh subscribers in Punjab (approximately 36% subscribers in the state) and 94 lakh in Haryana (approximately 34 % subscribers in the state). Unlike the vested interests, Jio has not resorted to any coercive or unlawful measures to win over customers.
  3. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Jio’s network has become a lifeline for millions of farmers and others in rural and urban India. It has helped kisans, traders and consumers to participate in digital commerce. It has enabled professionals to work from home, and students to learn from home. It has aided teachers, doctors, patients, courts, various government and private offices, industries and charitable establishments. It has served people working to provide emergency, critical and life-saving services.

The company thanked the police of Punjab and Haryana, for their action against miscreants so far. It has urged the public and the media not be misguided by false information.



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