PM says agri reforms have started benefiting farmers
New Delhi: As farmer protests against new farm laws entered the 24th day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said reforms brought by his government six months ago have started benefiting farmers.
Speaking at an Assocham convention, Modi highlighted reforms spanning from the manufacturing sector to labour to say India has during the last six years emerged as the world’s preferred destination for investment.
Record foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreign portfolio investment (FPI) during the pandemic is a testimony to the faith that the world now has in India, he said.
“Agriculture reforms initiated six months back have started benefitting farmers,” he said without elaborating.
Hundreds of farmers from states like Punjab and Haryana have blocked some of the highways leading to Delhi for more than three weeks now against the new farm laws which they fear will prompt the government to stop making direct crop purchases at minimum state-set prices, called minimum support price (MSP).
The government, however, says the three new laws remove restrictions on marketing farm products and allow cultivators to engage with private companies to sell their crops. This, it says, allows farmers an alternate avenue to sell crops, raising their income, and is aimed at making farming more competitive.
Also, the new laws do not end MSP-based procurement and mandis would continue to function, the government has stressed several times.
Meanwhile, amid the deadlock between the Centre and the protesting farmers, Prime Minister today urged people to read and share widely an e-booklet issued by the government highlighting how the recent agro-reforms help farmers.
The government has issued an e-booklet in English and Hindi highlighting the success stories of farmers who have benefited from the reforms enacted in September.
“There is a lot of content, including graphics and booklets that elaborate on how the recent Agro-reforms help our farmers. It can be found on the NaMo App Volunteer Module’s Your Voice and Downloads sections. Read and share widely,” the prime minister tweeted sharing snapshots of pages from the Hindi version of the booklet.
Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at Delhi borders against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
At least five rounds of formal talks have been held between the three Union Ministers and 40 farmer unions to break the deadlock.
The unions, however, are demanding a complete rollback of the Central laws.
Last week, the Centre had sent a proposal to these unions, stating that it would give a written assurance that the minimum support price (MSP) system will remain and also redress their other key concerns, but it failed to break the stalemate.