PM Modi on Friday addressed an event in Madhya Pradesh via video-conferencing, defending his government’s reforms in the agriculture sector and assuring the farmers that the government is committed to their welfare.
The outreach by PM Modi was a part of sustained efforts by the Centre to placate the farmers mainly from Punjab who have taken to streets along the Delhi border in protest against the newly introduced farm bills which they claim would hurt their livelihood.
Farmers to decide whether they want to sell their produce to APMCs or customers: PM Modi
Stating that the government’s intent in helping farmers is as pure as the river Ganga, the Prime Minister exhorted the protesters to see through the deceit that is being peddled under their name. He reiterated that, under the new laws, farmers will continue to have total freedom regarding the sale of their agricultural produce, adding that the system of APMC would continue to function. The new laws will only open avenues for farmers to sell their produce directly to the customers, he said.
नए कानून के बाद एक भी मंडी बंद नहीं हुई है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 18, 2020
फिर क्यों ये झूठ फैलाया जा रहा है?
सच्चाई तो ये है कि हमारी सरकार APMC को आधुनिक बनाने पर, उनके कंप्यूटरीकरण पर 500 करोड़ रुपए से ज्यादा खर्च कर रही है।
फिर ये APMC बंद किए जाने की बात कहां से आ गई: PM @narendramodi
PM Modi also drew attention towards the past when farmers were baton-charged by the police officials for demanding urea. He said that his govt has changed that and made life better for farmers. He said that the intention of his govt is absolutely clear.
MSP here to stay and central government committed to buying agricultural produce at the MSP rate: PM Modi
Talking about the Minimum Support Price(MSP) which has been a bone of contention for the protesters, PM Modi assured the farmers that the MSP is here to stay and his government will continue to buy agricultural produce from them at the pre-decided MSP.
मैं देश के प्रत्येक किसान को ये विश्वास दिलाता हूं कि पहले जैसे MSP दी जाती थी, वैसे ही दी जाती रहेगी, MSP न बंद होगी, न समाप्त होगी: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 18, 2020
PM Modi cited various crops and grains whose MSP were increased after his government came into power in 2014. He said MSP on Toor Dal was increased from Rs 4300 per quintal to Rs 6000, on Moong Dal it was increased to Rs 7200 per quintal from the previous price of Rs 4500. Similarly, the MSP on Masur Dal also saw a bump up from Rs 2,950 per quintal to Rs 5,100.
Even the MSP on paddy saw about 50 per cent hike from Rs 1310 per quintal to Rs 1,870. MSP on Jawar were raised from previous Rs 1,520 per quintal to Rs 2,640.
PM Modi said that his government not only raised the MSP but also increased the government purchase from farmers.
“The previous government, in their five years of governance bought 1,700 metric tonnes of paddy from farmers. Our government bought 3,000 metric tonnes of paddy from farmers in our first five years,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi takes on opposition, says various parties promised the same reform that his government has implemented
In a blistering attack against the opposition parties, PM Modi said that the Opposition is misleading the farmers. He stated that all old manifestos of other parties promised the same reforms which his government has dared to implement. Without explicitly referring any opposition leader, PM Modi said that these politicians were trying to extract political mileage on the back of farmers’ protest.
अगर आज देश के सभी राजनीतिक दलों के पुराने घोषणापत्र देखे जाएं, उनके पुराने बयान सुने जाएं, पहले जो देश की कृषि व्यवस्था संभाल रहे थे उनकी चिट्ठियां देखीं जाएं, तो आज जो कृषि सुधार हुए हैं, वो उनसे अलग नहीं हैं: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 18, 2020
PM Modi also assailed the previous governments at the Centre, who remained a mute spectator to the problems faced by the farmers and showed no will to initiate reforms. He added that his government abolished the cut culture and implemented recommendations suggested by agriculture committees, including those by the Swaminathan report.
PM Modi further added that the farm laws were not brought overnight, but several political parties, experts, progressive farmers had long demanded the reforms. Adding that the detractors have a problem with Modi and not reforms, PM Modi said, “here were demands for the reforms from parties, experts, progressive farmers for many years. The previous governments had made promises to the farmers but never delivered. They are upset because what they had only talked about, Modi has done that.”
The PM said that opposition parties are opposing the farm laws because BJP will take credit of bringing such reforms. He offered the opposition to take credit for the laws, which were promised by the parties like Congress in their election manifestos, and requested not to oppose the laws.
PM Modi allays apprehensions of farmers regarding the farming agreement and contractual farming
In a bid to dispel the unfounded apprehensions that are taking root among the farmers in the wake of farmers’ protest, PM Modi said that a farming agreement involves only crops and agricultural produce and not the farming land of the farmers. He added that farmers are being deliberately misled on the concept of the farming agreement which is not a new phenomenon.
नए कृषि सुधारों को लेकर तीसरा बहुत बड़ा झूठ चल रहा है फार्मिंग एग्रीमेंट को लेकर।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 18, 2020
देश में फार्मिंग एग्रीमेंट क्या कोई नई चीज है?
हमारे देश में बरसों से फार्मिंग एग्रीमेंट की व्यवस्था चल रही है: PM @narendramodi
He cited an irony while speaking on the farming agreement. While the Congress government in Punjab has been vehemently protesting against the farm bills, PM Modi quoted a report from 8 March 2019 to allege that the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab was celebrating a Rs 800 crores deal between farmers and a multinational company.
While speaking on the contractual farming, PM Modi assured farmers that nobody can force the farmers to do anything against their wishes. He further cited instances when contractual farming had brought a dramatic rise in the farmers’ earnings.
PM Modi says the government still ready for talks if farmers are unconvinced
Towards the end of his speech, PM Modi said that despite his government’s repeated assurances that farmers’ interest will be taken care of, if the protesters are still unconvinced, the Centre is ready to have talks with them.
“Even after my assurances and the central government’s efforts, if anyone has any apprehensions with regard to the new laws, We humbly bow our heads and join our hands and are ready to talk on every issue for the welfare of the farmers,” PM Modi said.