Home > News > Amid farmers’ protests, PM Modi comes out in strong defence of agriculture laws | India News

Amid farmers’ protests, PM Modi comes out in strong defence of agriculture laws | India News

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NEW DELHI: Amid ongoing protests by some farm organisations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday strongly defended the new farm laws and said the changes met the long-pending demands of the agriculture sector and a new set of rights for farmers had also started delivering results.
In his monthly radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’, the PM said the reforms had opened doors to new possibilities and urged those studying and researching agriculture to go to villages and create awareness about the new laws that aim to offer more options for sale and also set out rules to protect farmers.
The PM also offered greetings on Guru Nanak Jayanti which falls on Monday and while the salutations were not out of place, the current agitation that is strongly driven by Punjab farmers gave it an added context. He said the government had carried out the work of a “servant” (sevak) and the Guru Sahib gave the opportunity to serve. Though Modi often mentions major festivals, his address just a day before the 551st Prakash Parva of Guru Nanak is seen as an outreach to the Sikh farmer community.
“After a lot of deliberation, the Indian Parliament gave agricultural reforms a legal recognition. These reforms have not only served to unshackle our farmers but also have given them new rights and opportunities. In just a short span of time, these new rights have begun to address the sufferings of our farmers,” Modi said.
His remarks, the first detailed references since farmers from Punjab and Haryana reached Delhi, indicated that while the Centre could look at ways and means to address concerns of farm organisations that MSP will be done away with or big corporate houses will set prices for farm produce, it is not likely to roll back the new laws.
The PM gave a set of examples, including that of Jitendra Bhoiji, a farmer from Dhule in Maharashtra who did not get paid for his corn crop for four months and how the new laws came to his help. The new rules make it clear that farmers have to be paid in three days, he said. “Whichever the field, correct knowledge, free from misconceptions and rumours, can act as a force multiplier for every individual,” he added.
The PM said Bhoiji did not get several lakhs of dues for his crop he had sold after receiving an advance of only Rs 25,000. He used a recently enacted legal provision which guarantees that farmers get their dues and lodged a complaint with the SDM. Within days, his outstanding amount was paid.
“Buy the crop from the farmer, keep the payment pending for months on end; probably this was the long-standing tradition that the buyers of corn were following,” the PM said.
Modi also cited two other examples, of Mohammad Aslam of Baran in Rajasthan, a CEO of a local farmer producer organisation (FPO), who has created a WhatsApp group of farmers to inform them about prevailing mandi rates. He said corporate bosses would be surprised to know that even FPOs have CEOs. Modi cited Virendra Yadav of Kaithal who had done business of Rs 2 crore in two years by selling farm stubble to agro energy plants and paper mills by using straw baler machines.
He said Guru Nanak’s influence was visible across the world and he “received the opportunity” to help in restoring Lakhpat Gurdwara Sahib in Kutch after it was damaged in the 2001 earthquake. He referred to opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor as a historic event.

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