New laws to herald new era in Indian farming: Tomar
New Delhi: Asserting that the new farm reform laws will herald a new era in Indian farming, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said the government is still willing to continue talks with protesting unions on all contentious issues.
The minister said the agriculture sector is the backbone of the Indian economy and the Narendra Modi government is focusing on doubling farmer's income by 2022.
He was interacting with members of international media from the Foreign Correspondents' Club of South Asia.
"The minister reiterated that reforms have been made in the interest of farmers and will bring about a new era in Indian agriculture. The Government has had many rounds of talks with farmer unions and is willing to continue the dialogue on contentious issues, clause by clause, with an open mind," an official statement said.
Tomar, along with Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, is holding discussions with 40 protesting unions. Five rounds of formal talks between the government and these unions have failed to break the deadlock as farmers are insisting on the repeal of the three laws and are camping at various border points of Delhi for nearly four weeks now.
On Sunday, the Agriculture Ministry wrote a letter to farmer unions to choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the ongoing agitation could end at the earliest. It also asked them to specify their concerns over the government's proposal for amendments in the new agri laws. Tomar described the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities Amendment Act 2020 as the biggest agricultural reforms in country so far.