Union Minister urges protesting farmers to continue talks

New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday urged the leaders of the farmers’ unions continue dialogue and find an amicable solution to the issues related to the new farm legislations.

Both the Cabinet ministers were addressing 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 accelerate 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 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.

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

(IANS)

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