Govt willing to find solution, continue talks with genuine farm unions, says Tomar

Narendra Singh Tomar.

Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest over the new farm laws, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday that the government is willing to continue dialogue with genuine farm unions and find a solution with an open mind.

The minister, who met members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) from Uttar Pradesh at Krishi Bhavan, said that Minimum Support Price (MSP) is an administrative decision and will continue. He said that the farm laws have been welcomed in various states across the country.

“The farmers who met me today have supported the three farm laws. They said that they are with the laws and government. As some farmers are spreading misconception so they were also misled. When I spoke to them they clearly supported the bills,” he said.

An Agriculture Ministry release said that leaders of the union welcomed the farm Acts and said that these will be beneficial for farmers. They submitted a memorandum to the Minister with suggestions regarding the farm laws and MSP.

The release said that the minister thanked the union leaders for coming out in support of the farm laws. “He added that the government is willing to continue dialogue with genuine farm unions and is willing to find a solution with an open mind,” it said.

The said Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) leaders suggested that farmers be given the option of going to civil courts in case of a dispute. They also suggested that the panchayat head should be accorded the same importance as the head of the mandi to safeguard the rights of the farmers in small towns and villages. They said that Essential Commodities Act should prevent hoarding and black marketing.

The union leaders also suggested that electricity rates for irrigation should be reduced and electricity should be available for longer hours in Uttar Pradesh. They said standards for crops should be decided at the procurement centres so that farmers do not face any problem in selling the produce.

The meeting comes amid protest by farmers on borders of Delhi for the repeal of three farm laws enacted recently by the government. They have been on protest since 26 November. The farmer unions have held five round of talks with the Centre and attended a meeting called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. They have rejected proposals of the Centre for amendments in the farm laws.

They are protesting against 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.

On Monday, ten organisations from various states such as Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Bihar and Haryana associated with All India Kisan Coordination Committee had met Tomar and extended their support on the three farm laws.