1. Agriculture World

Agriculture Minister: ‘Centre Ready to Amend New Farm Laws’

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
Narendra Singh Tomar
Narendra Singh Tomar

Synopsis: The government has held 11 rounds of talks with farmer unions, according to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, and has also proposed to amend the laws. 

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the government is prepared to amend three recent farm laws in order to respect the feelings of protesting farmers, even as he chastised opposition parties for playing politics with the subject at the expense of the agriculture industry and farmers' interests. 

The Union minister said the government has held 11 rounds of talks with farmer unions and has also proposed to change these farm laws while speaking at the 5th national convention of Agrivision. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh, have been demonstrating at Delhi's borders for over three months, demanding that these three laws be repealed and that the minimum support price (MSP) be legally guaranteed. 

Eleven rounds of talks between the Centre and 41 farmer unions have so far resulted in a stalemate. The government has proposed compromises such as a 12- to 18-month suspension of the laws and the formation of a joint commission to discuss remedies, but the unions have refused them. 

Tomar said that the government has passed these three laws in order to raise farm investment and allow farmers the right to sell their produce anywhere they want and at a price they want. 

The laws, which were passed by Parliament in September of last year, will also enable farmers to grow crops that will fetch higher market prices, he added.  

Tomar, in response to the ongoing farmers' agitation, questioned how this agitation would help farmers. ‘In a democracy, there is a space for dissent, as well as opposition and differences of opinion, but there should be no opposition that harms the country,’ he said. No one is willing to discuss how these demonstrations would benefit farmers, according to the minister. 

In a democracy, everybody is free to hold any political viewpoint, but the young generation must consider whether politics should be conducted by sacrificing farmers, harming farmers' interests, or at the expense of the agriculture economy, he questioned. 

He stated that the government's plan to amend laws would not imply that the reform laws is flawed. Farmers continue to be the target of continuing protests, according to him, and the government has proposed amending these rules.  Tomar said, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the government is committed to farmers' welfare and is willing to make changes to ensure farmers' respect for which it is willing to amend laws. 

According to the minister, there is still resistance to major reforms, but people support improvements if the aim and strategies are sound. The Supreme Court had put the three controversial farm laws on hold for two months on January 12 and ordered the committee to send a report after consultation with stakeholders. 

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