Need to take everyone on growth path: Govt on farm laws repeal

Even though “only a group of farmers are protesting” against the farm laws, the government “has tried to sensitise the farmers” and “explain the merits” but as India “celebrates the 75th Year of Independence— “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, the need of the hour is to take everyone together on the path of inclusive growth and development”, explains government as its reasons behind the repeal of the farm laws in the Bill that is to be tabled in Parliament on Monday.

In the Farm Laws Repeal Act, 2021, circulated on Saturday evening, the government says the three laws -– the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act — were enacted as a part of the Government’s endeavour to improve the condition of farmers including small and marginal farmers.

“These enactments were made for the overall socio-economic development of the farmers and rural sector after extensive consultations with various stakeholders following the felt need and demand of the farmers’ organisations, suggestions and recommendations of the experts, professionals, agricultural economists, expert committees over the years,” says the statement on the objectives and reasons for the Bill. It says although various Governments during the last three decades have tried to initiate such reforms, but, they were “not in comprehensive way”.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation, announced that the three laws, which triggered protests among the farmers in Punjab, Haryana and parts of UP, would be withdrawn.

“Even though only a group of farmers are protesting against these laws, the Government has tried hard to sensitise the farmers on the importance of the Farm Laws and explain the merits through several meetings and other forum,” it says, adding: “Without taking away the existing mechanisms available to farmers, new avenues were provided for trade of their produce. Besides, farmers were free to select the avenues of their choice where they can get more price for their produce without any compulsion. However, the operation of the aforesaid farm laws has been stayed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. During the Covid period, the farmers have worked hard to increase production and fulfil the needs of the nation.” The statement also lists the Narendra Modi government’s several interventions to support farmers, including small and marginal farmers by providing quality seeds, credit, insurance, procurement and market support.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has announced the Bill to repeal the acts will be brought in on the first day of the winter session. The session begins on November 29 and is scheduled to conclude on December 23.

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