Govt. ready to discuss issues concerning farmers with open mind: Agriculture Minister

The Government on Thursday has said that the farm reforms have been brought forth keeping in mind the best interests of the farmers. Addressing the media in New Delhi, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, government wanted to liberate the farmers from the shackles of mandi so that they could sell their produce anywhere, to anyone, at his own price, outside the purview of mandi. He said, government expressed that it is ready for open-minded discussions on provisions they have objections against. He said, Centre tried to explain to the farmers that laws do not affect APMCs or MSP. He said, they sent proposals to allay concerns over MSP and APMCs but farmers’ leaders rejected those.

The Minister said, government kept waiting for suggestions from farmers’ leaders to address their concerns, but they are stuck on repeal of laws. He also said that during the talks, many said that farm laws are invalid as agriculture is state subject and Centre cannot frame these laws. He said, Centre has clarified that it has the right to make laws on trade and explained that APMC and MSP are not affected by it.

Mr Tomar reassured that the land of farmers will not be occupied by industrialists. He pointed out that contract farming has been going on for long in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka but there has never been such experience. He said, government has already made provisions that agreement under these laws will only be between processors and farmers’ produce and there is no provision for any lease or agreement over farmers’ land.

Addressing the media, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said, it is very clear that this law does not affect APMCs at all. He added that the mandi system remains as it is. Mr Goyal said, government has very categorically made clear that state procurement by the government will continue at MSP. He said, this should completely dispel any falsehood that is being propagated.

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