Following acts of vandalism at service outlets of its subsidiary in the states of Punjab and Haryana, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) released a press statement clarifying that it does not intend to purchase any agricultural land or intend to do so for "corporate" or "contract" farming.
The company said in a BSE filing that through its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, RIL has, in a petition to be filed in Honourable Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday, "sought the urgent intervention of Government authorities to bring a complete stop to the illegal acts of vandalism by miscreants."
"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 statement said.
"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," RIL said.
The company further said 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 added.
"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," the company's statement said.
"Reliance Retail is an unmatched leader in the 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 an unfair advantage over farmers or sought that its suppliers buy from farmers at less than remunerative prices, nor will it ever do so," it said.
The company added that 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.
"Indeed, 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," it said.