The agriculture minister met a delegation of 20 farmers who had come to urge him to not repeal the laws but make certain amendments.(HT Photo)
A day ahead of ‘Bharat Bandh’, Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the three farm laws are aimed at providing better price to farmers for their produce and it would bring prosperity and employment to the villages that have evaded poor farmers even after 70 years of independence.
The Union minister was interacting with farmer unions mainly from Haryana and explained to them how private investment will open up for agriculture due to these laws which will benefit farmers.
The minister also referred to the ongoing agitation by farmers against the three farm laws.
“Andolan chalenga to isse nibtenge ( if the agitation goes on, we will deal with it),” he said when some farmers claimed that agitating farmers are being misled.
“Today, infrastructure like warehouse and cold storage will have to built near villages. The avenues for private investment have been opened by these laws. This will increase opportunities of employment generation,” Tomar told farmer unions.
The minister met a delegation of 20 farmers who had come to urge him to not repeal the laws but make certain amendments.
Tomar spoke how Congress despite writing about these laws in its election manifestos, failed to bring or implement them.
“Swaminathan Committee was formed by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. From 2006 to 2014 they had time to implement. Congress put that in election manifesto but never dared to implement,” the minister.
He said the government has made attempts but private investments have largely eluded the agriculture sector and there was also a lack of individual investment.
“Roads were blocked for investment. There are small farmers and they don’t go towards costly farming. FPOs will be formed in villages so investment too will go to villages. Infrastructure will be developed near big mandis. Farmers aren’t able to hold his produce so he never gets good price. But these laws will ensure good price to them,” the agriculture minister told the farmers.
The minister also explained the investment planned by the government.
He said the government is about to invest 1.5 lakh crore in agriculture infrastructure which includes food processing, bee harvesting, fisheries, herbal farming.
He said there were also talks with a bank to give three per cent subsidy on interest to farmers.
Farmers have been protesting on different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws-Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Farmers’ leaders have held several rounds of talks with the government but all of them remained inconclusive so far. After the fifth round of talks, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has called another meeting on December 9.