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Farm laws have not been introduced overnight: PM Modi tells MP farmers
4 min read.Updated: 18 Dec 2020, 03:23 PM IST Edited By J. Jagannath
'Agriculture experts, economists and progressive farmers have been demanding reforms,' says PM
'I request all political parties with folded hands, please keep all the credit. I just want ease in the life of farmers,' says Modi as farmers' protest enters 23rd day
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday tried to clear the air on the farm laws that have been facing stiff opposition from farmers who are protesting near the borders of Delhi.
"Farm laws have not been introduced overnight. Over last 20-22 years, Central government and state governments had detailed discussions on these reforms. Agriculture experts, economists and progressive farmers have been demanding reforms," said Modi while virtually addressing Madhya Pradesh's farmers at the 'Kisan Kalyan' event in Raisen.
"I request all political parties with folded hands, please keep all the credit. I'm giving credit to all your old election manifestos. I just want ease in the life of farmers, I want their progress and want modernity in agriculture," said Modi.
People should seek replies from political parties who talked about agricultural reforms in their manifestos, he said.
"Political parties should stop misguiding farmers. It's been 6-7 months since farm laws were implemented. But now suddenly, games are being played to plough one's own political land through a web of lies," said Modi.
"Those who've started this movement in the name of farmers, when they had a chance to run the government or become part of government, what they did back then, the country needs to remember. Today, I want to bring their deeds in front of countrymen and farmers," he added.
Modi also touched upon the contentious issue of Minimum Support Price (MSP). He assured farmers that MSP regime will continue and said it will not be scrapped and that opposition is lying on MSP issue.
"If we wanted to remove MSP, why would we implement Swaminathan Commission report? Our government is serious about the MSP, that's why we declare it before sowing season every year. This makes it easy for farmers to make calculations," said Modi.
He highlighted that even during the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the procurement on MSP was done as usual. He assured the farmers that MSP would continue to be given like before. He stressed that the government has not only increased the MSP, but has also procured a lot more on MSP.
The Prime Minister clarified that the new law has given freedom to farmers to sell in the mandi or outside. "The farmer can sell his produce where he would get more benefit. Not a single mandi was closed after the new law," he said. He added that the government is spending more than ₹500 crore on modernizing APMCs.
On contract farming, the Prime Minister clarified it has been in operation in the country for years. He said in contract farming, only crops or produce are transacted but the land remains with the farmer, the agreement has nothing to do with the land. Even if a natural disaster strikes, the farmer gets full money. The new law has ensured a share of windfall profits to the farmer, he said.
Modi further promised to address the concerns of farmers who have apprehension even after these efforts. He said that the government is ready to talk on every issue. The Prime Minister said he would again talk about this subject in detail on 25 December, on the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Modi accused the previous governments of not implementing the Swaminathan Committee report for over 8 years. "Even the peasants' agitation did not shake the consciousness of these people," he said.
"Swaminathan Commission report is biggest proof of how ruthless these people can be. These people sat on Swaminathan Commission report recommendations for eight long years. They ensured that their government doesn't have to spend much on farmers, so they kept report under wraps," he said.
The Prime Minister said that if the previous governments were concerned about farmers, then around 100 large irrigation projects in the country would not hang for decades. "Now our government is spending thousands of crores of rupees to complete these irrigation projects in mission mode," he said. He said that the Government is working to ensure water to every farm. He said that the government is equally promoting beekeeping, animal husbandry and fisheries along with grain-producing farmers.
"Today, several farmers have been given Kisan Credit Card. Earlier, they were not available to all farmers. But we changed rules to make Kisan Credit Card available to all farmers across the country," PM added.
" ₹16,000 crore has being transferred into the bank accounts of 35 lakhs farmers of Madhya Pradesh," he said.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan welcomed PM Modi at the event.
"PM Modi wants to double the income of farmers. Mandis won't be closed at all. Congress is shedding crocodile tears, Kamal Nath had distributed fake loan waiver certificates," claimed Chouhan.
Meanwhile, protesting farmers at the Singhu border are making arrangements to install waterproof tents to protect them from the cold weather conditions.
Farmers' protest against the three farm laws passed by the Centre has entered its 23rd day today.
"We are preparing ourselves for a longer stay as our fight against black laws will continue. It's getting colder, so we're putting more tents," said a protester.
"PM should talk to the farmers and take back the farm laws. We will not give up our fight against these laws," said Dayal Singh, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Punjab.
While the protesters including women, children and senior citizens remain at the Singhu border amid chilly weather, they have started facing difficulties as the national capital's temperature started dipping.