Modi hits out at Opposition, accuses them of using farmers to further their own political agenda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Kisan Sammelan in Madhya Pradesh, via video conference, in New Delhi on December 18, 2020.

Modi hits out at Opposition, accuses them of using farmers to further their own political agenda

New Delhi, December 18, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at the Opposition for using farmers to further their own political agenda and said they were stoking the agitation against the three Central farm laws passed by Parliament in October to attack his government.

Addressing via video conference farmers participating in the Kisan Sammelan held across Madhya Pradesh, he said that consultations on the new laws had been going on for more than 20 years and they had not been brought overnight.

"Farmers of the country, farmers' organizations, agricultural experts, agricultural economists, agricultural scientists, progressive farmers of our country have also been continuously demanding improvement in the agriculture sector," he said.

The Prime Minister said that these reforms were not taken up in real earnest in the past even though they used to figure in the election manifestoes of various parties.

He said the agricultural reforms that have taken place now are not different from what was in discussion earlier.

Modi said the previous Governments did not implement the Swaminathan Committee report for over eight years.

"Even the peasants' agitation did not shake the conscience of these people. These people ensured that their government does not have to spend much on the farmer," he said.

Stating that his government was dedicated to farmers and considered them as "Annadatas", he said the recommendations of the report of the Swaminathan Committee were implemented by this Government, giving minimum support price (MSP) of one and a half times the cost to the farmers.

On debt waiver, the Prime Minister said it does not reach the small farmer who did not go to the bank or take loans.

He said that, in the PM-Kisan scheme, every year farmers will get about Rs 75 thousand crore, directly into their bank accounts without any leakages or commissions to any one.

Modi said that, if previous governments were concerned about farmers, around a hundred large irrigation projects would not hang for decades. He said his government was now spending thousands of crores of rupees to complete these projects in mission mode.

He said that the government is equally promoting beekeeping, animal husbandry and fisheries.

"There is no reason for mistrust in the recent agricultural reforms done by the Government and there is no place for lies." he said and asked the people to ponder why the Government would implement the Swaminthan Committee report if it had intended to remove the MSP.

He asked the people to ponder why the governmet would implement the Swaminathan Committee report if it intended to remove the MSP.

He assured the farmers that the MSP would continue to be given life before and pointed out that the government had not only increased the MSP but had also procured a lot more at the MSP. He said that, even during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the procurement at MSP was done as usual.

Modi said the new laws had given freedom to farmers to sell in the "mandis" (markets) or outside. He said not a single mandi would be closed under the new law and, in fact, the government was spending more than Rs 500 crore on modernizing the Agricultural Produce Marketig Committees (APMCs).

On contract farming, he pointed out that it had been in operation in the country for years. "In contract farming, only crops or produce are transacted but the land remains with the farmer, the agreement has nothing to do with the land. Even if a natural disaster strikes, the farmer gets full money. The new law has ensured a share of windfall profits to the farmer," he said.

Modi also spoke about the need for better technology, modern storage and cold storage facilities as well as new food processing ventures.

"Indian farmers should have access to the modern facilities available to the farmers in the developed countries, it cannot be delayed any longer. In a rapidly changing global scenario, the situation in India cannot be accepted as the farmer becomes helpless due to lack of facilities and modern methods. it is already too late," he said.

At the same time, Modi promised to address the concerns of farmers who had apprehensions about the new laws.

He said that the Government is ready to talk on every issue. He said he would again talk on the subject in detail on December 25, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

"On that day, another installment of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi will be simultaneously transferred to the bank accounts of crores of farmers," he said.

NNN

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