PM Modi repeal three controversial farm laws, promise new measures to boost farm sector

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admin November 19, 2021
Updated 2021/11/19 at 8:03 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of three controversial farm laws on Friday, promising farmer organizations that the legislative procedure for repealing farm laws will be completed in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament, which has been opposed by farmers for the last year.

Mr. Modi also announced the creation of a committee comprising members from both the Central and State Governments to look into matters relating to agriculture, such as zero-budget farming, fertilisers, crop patterns, and transparency in setting Minimum Support Prices, among other things.

In a televised address to the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government’s goal in enacting these laws was to provide small farmers, who account for 80 percent of India’s farmers, more options for access to markets and fair pricing for their goods.

“I regret to you, my countrymen,” he continued, “that despite my government’s good intentions, there may have been some lack in our Tapasya (penance) that we were unable to explain some of our farmer brothers of the intentions of these laws, which were as pure as the light from a lamp.”

“Previous administrations have explored similar measures, and before enacting these laws, we contacted a variety of groups and experts.” Many farmers were pleased with the revisions, for which we are glad. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to explain some farmers. Agricultural economists, scientists, and progressive farmers also attempted to explain to them the significance of agricultural regulations,” he said.

“Even though this group of farmers represented a small fraction of the overall category of farmers, we needed to explain them.” We attempted to engage them in conversation, listened to their reasons and rationale, and agreed to postpone the implementation of these laws for two years, with the case also being brought before the Supreme Court. Specific aspects of the rules that they objected to were also repealed, but “maybe there was something missing somewhere that we were unable to explain this sector of farmers,” Mr. Modi said, explaining the rationale behind his government’s decision.

“I urge all farmers who are protesting to come home in good spirits on this auspicious day of Gurpurab [the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak],” he said.

The removal of the laws comes as Assembly elections are being held in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, where protests have gained support.

Mr. Modi filled his address with references to his government’s pro-farmer measures, like crop insurance, income assistance for small farmers (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi), and neem-coated urea.

 

Source: The Hindu

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