Modi asks farmers to listen to what Tomar, Goyal said on new Farm Laws

Updated December 11, 2020

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IANS

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) A day after Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal urged the agitating farmers to continue the dialogue and find an amicable solution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked the farmers to listen to these two ministers who spoke at length about the three Farm Laws.

In a tweet, Modi said, "Listen to two of my colleagues Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal from my cabinet on the new Farm Laws and the demands of the farmers."

Modi also attached the video link of the press conference.

Tomar and Goyal on Thursday afternoon addressed a press conference here, a day after the farmers' unions unanimously rejected the offer by the Centre to amend the laws recently enacted to bring reforms in agriculture and allied sectors.

As farmers' unions have started to step up their agitation with a call for blocking the expressways around the national capital, the government has asked them to return to the discussion table.

Tomar said the way of dialogue has not been broken yet and the government has given proposals to them. "We urge union leaders to consider the proposal and start the next round of talks," he said.

The ministers maintained that the 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 are the biggest agricultural reforms in the country so far.

The reforms will provide the farmers with market freedom, encourage entrepreneurship, give access to technology and transform agriculture, they said.

The government is ready to give an assurance on MSP and procurement and the existing system for procurement of crops on MSP (minimum support price) will continue. The government has said that provisions will be made in the legislation to ensure a level playing field in transactions inside and outside the existing APMC mandis, the ministers said.

As per the proposals given to amend the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, there will be similar market fee and cess inside and outside the existing APMC mandis, imposed by the states. Also, there will be provision for registration of traders operating outside the APMC mandis.

Presently, the law provides for resolution of disputes between farmers and traders at the Sub-Divisional Magistrate level, but the government has said that a provision will be made that will provide for appeal in civil courts.

Goyal also outlined the various suggestions that have been given to the farmers in a proposal to address their concerns about the farm laws.

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