Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 15
Amidst the farmer’ agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday held consultations with farmer’ groups supporting the legislations and urging the government to not repeal them.
Tomar who tweeted about meeting, said farmers told him laws should not be taken back and the “agitation by Punjab farmers is politically motivated”.
According to an official statement Tomar “clarified” that the government’s intention and policies are pro-farmer and “will help in increasing the income of farmers”.
“The government is always ready to engage in dialogue,” he said.
Officials said states representing the All India Kisan Coordination Committee met Tomar in Krishi Bhavan on Monday. They included farmer leaders from Telangana, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
This is not the first time some unions from Haryana have met Tomar extending support on the three laws. This is in fact the third such meeting with groups supporting the laws against which Punjab jathebandis and unions across country are agitating.
Officials said the representatives expressed “gratitude to the Union Government for enacting these Farm Acts and urging not to give in to the demands of the agitators to roll them back. They also appealed that the Government should continue to educate the people about the benefit of these laws through advertisements and through training programmes”.
“All of them were convinced that the recent Acts are for the “benefit of farmers across India and will save farmers from the clutches of the middlemen who exploited farmers over the years”
“They were of the opinion that the laws would ensure freedom of choice to farmers in sale and purchase of agri-produce and allow barrier-free trade and commerce outside premises of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees,” they added.
Giving farmers the right to enter into agreements with the buyer would enable prior price determination and transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor. These farm reforms, they felt, would also enable farmers to access modern technology, better seeds and other inputs, besides attracting private investment into the agriculture sector, they were quoted as saying.
More than seven thousand NGOs work under the umbrella of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee and their members will all rise up to support the recently enacted Farm Acts, the official statement said.
Sources say Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and union ministers from Punjab, Hardeep Puri and Som Prakash, also held meetings on the issue related to the three farm laws.
Reaching out to farmers, Rajnath Singh also said the government is always willing to listen to farmers and open for dialogue. Sources say the government is holding meetings to find a way to resolve the issue and end the impasse. The unions which are supporting the laws are being roped in.
Notably so far there is no breakthrough on the next meeting between the government and agitating farmer unions.