New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said he is confident of a consensus between the government and protesting farmers on the issue of the new agricultural laws and that the farmer protest movement would end soon.
He said that only the “real farmer leaders” will come forward and find a way out. The intentions and policy of the government are correct and if the real leaders of the farmers come to the fore then the solution of the issue will come, Tomar said.
He said that there are some people who are obstructing the path to a solution and do not want them to reach a decision, but the real farmer leaders will surely find a way out. His direct reference was towards the opposition political parties.
Tomar said in an exclusive interview to IANS, that “It is on the minds of some people that all three laws should be withdrawn so they are not allowing a decision to be reached.”
In addition to the Ministry of Agriculture, Tomar, who handles the Ministry of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Food Processing Industries, has led four of the five rounds of talks with farmer representatives. Apart from this, he was also present during the meeting of farmer leaders on December 8 with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
In relation to these talks, Tomar answered IANS questions saying, “There is not a single person among the farmer representatives in the true sense who can say that he alone can talk about the farmers and the new laws. Wherever there are objections, issues should be discussed with the government.”
The Union Agriculture Minister said that the policy of the government is right, the intention is right and the leaders are also right, so there should be no doubt in the minds of the farmers.
Asked about the obstacles faced by the Modi government for the reforms initiated in the field of agriculture due to the protest of farmers against the new agriculture laws, he said, “When such new reforms are done then doubts certainly arise in the minds of some people, but I believe that the government has tried to remove the doubts and will do it further. I hope there will be a solution.”
Confident of finding solutions to the problems of the farmers and ending the agitation soon, Tomar said that the government is ready to renegotiate with the farmer leaders and when the “real farmer leaders” come forward in the talks, they will find avenues for solutions.
Listing the benefits to the farmers from the new agricultural laws implemented by the Centre, he said, “The new laws provide farmers the freedom to sell their crops anywhere in the country at the desired price. They guarantee payment of prices within 3 days. The laws provides that the farmers sitting at home get a nationwide price.”
Tomar said that if there is no tax on farmers’ purchase of crops, they will also get the benefit because they will get higher prices due to no tax.
Describing the specialty of the contract farming law, he said that this law only allows the contract of the crop and the law has a provision to fix the price before sowing the crop. He said that this law will attract farmers to cultivate expensive crops and use technology, as well as cultivate according to global standards, their products will be used in food processing, and it will definitely benefit the farmers and their produce They will get reasonable and remunerative prices.
The minister clarified that the apprehension on farmers’ land under the new laws is baseless.
Clarifying the provision for settlement of disputes, he said that in case of any dispute, it will be settled within 30 days at the SDM level and its appeal can go up to the Collector.
Farmers have been camping since November 26 on the borders of Delhi. Leaders of agitating farmer organisations want repeal of the three new laws implemented by the Centre – the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Agreement Act 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
They are adamant their demands while the government has offered to amend these laws and is trying to convince the farmers for this.
Meanwhile, leaders of some other farmers groups of Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand also met the Union Agriculture Minister and assured their support on all the three farm laws.