While speaking at a press conference on Thursday the Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the government is ready to hold discussions with farmers to bring out an amicable solution to the fortnight-long impasse over farm laws.
He also reiterated that the new agricultural laws passed by Parliament in September will only benefit the farmers. He even requested the agitating farmers to go through the proposal of amendments that the government is planning to incorporate in the farm laws and schedule a date for discussion. “The government is ready for the discussion,” Tomar said.
At the same time Tomar assured the farmers that the new laws will not affect the APMC Act or the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism.
“We sent a proposal to farmers, but they wanted that laws be repealed. We are of the stand that government is ready for open-minded discussions on provisions they have an objection against. Laws don’t affect APMCs or MSP. We tried to explain this to farmers.”
“MSP has got nothing to do with these laws. They do not affect MSP at all. PM had I have explained and assured the farmers that MSP will continue,” added Tomar.
He further said that contrary to what the aggrieved farmers perceive, the government passed the three contentious farm laws to free farmers from the Mandi system and allow them to sell their crops outside the marketplace.
The minister then tried to assuage all fears of the farmers.
“It is being projected that the land of farmers will be occupied by industrialists. Contract farming has been going on for long in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka but there has never been such experience,” he said.
Meanwhile, Union minister Piyush Goyal who was also present at the press briefing in the evening, said, “Modi government was, is and will continue to be committed to the farmers of the country.”