Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 18
A day before his scheduled meeting with unions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar again hailed various “pro-farmer/pro-agriculture” steps, including the three farm laws, taken by Narendra Modi government.
He said the reforms will go a long way in improving living standard of farmers and the agriculture sector
Urging unions to reconsider their decision to hold a tractor march on January 26, Tomar said farmers “should not do anything that may affect the ‘garima’ (dignity) of the country on the Republic Day”.
Ahead of the tenth round of talks tomorrow he again urged protesting farm leaders to come for a clause by clause discussion in the laws.
While farmers’ unions and the government continue to stand firm on respective stance regarding the three farm laws, in the last meeting they had reaffirmed commitment to continue with the direct dialogue process.
Tomorrow’s talks are expected to also touch the issue related to the minimum support price as was indicated by some union leaders after the last meeting. The unions are again expected to raise the issue related to the “Home Ministry and state police repression on people associated as well as not associated with the ongoing movement, including NIA raids”.
Earlier, addressing a conference, Tomar said “the three laws enacted by the government will free farmers from all unnecessary legal bindings and help them get maximum value for their produce. Farmers will be attracted toward planting high value crops. Whenever any reform is introduced, impediments are bound to come in the way”. He also said the farm laws have been introduced after long deliberations with experts and stakeholders. “These reforms were long overdue. But previous government could not muster courage to introduce these laws. Our government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought revolution in agriculture sector,” he said.
Dispelling rumours that MSP will be withdrawn, he said rather the BJP-led government has strengthened the system since it came to power in 2014. “MSP system will exist in future also. In fact we have included pulses and oilseeds under MSP purchase. We have increased the MSP on 23 crops by implementing the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission,” he said.
Yesterday, Tomar said most farmers and experts are “in favour of farm laws”.