As opposition parties continued to target the Centre over the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the three new farm laws, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday that if the government wanted to make any changes in these laws, it didn’t mean there was any problem with them. “I made it clear that if Govt is ready to make amendments, it doesn’t mean there is any problem in farm laws. People in a particular state are misinformed,” Tomar said while addressing the Rajya Sabha.
Tomar also said the farmers were being misled that others would occupy their lands if the laws were implemented. “Let me know if there is a single provision in Contract Farming law which allows any trader to snatch away the land of any farmer,” he said.
With regard to the Minimum Support Price (MSP), which has been the core issue of the farmers’ movement, the Union minister said that it was being provided at 50% more than the production cost and the Centre ensured that requisite investment reaches the agriculture sector.
We have started to provide MSP, 50% more than the production cost. Also, Rs 1 lakh crore agriculture infrastructure fund has been given under Atmanirbhar package. We have tried to ensure the requisite investment reaches the agriculture sector: Agriculture Minister NS Tomar pic.twitter.com/Dgq2JdUKNr
— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2021
Tomar reiterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed towards the welfare of farmers and efforts were on to double their income and also increase the contribution of agriculture towards the country’s GDP rapidly.
Under this year’s Union Budget, the Centre had allocated an amount of ₹2.83 lakh crore for agriculture with Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman adding that the MSP regime underwent a change to assure price to farmers that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities. “Our government is committed to the welfare of farmers. The MSP regime has undergone a change to assure a price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities,” Sitharaman had said during the presentation on February 1.
Meanwhile, the protest against the farm laws entered day 71 with the protesters preparing for a three-hour nationwide highway blockade on Saturday. “Farmers would provide food and water to the people who will be stuck due to ‘chakka jam’,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait told reporters on Thursday adding that the highway blockade would take place everywhere but not in Delhi.0