PM on repealing farm laws: ‘We failed to explain the benefits to some farmers’

RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh said the decision, though necessary to avoid "unwanted controversy", will lead to long-term losses for farmers

The PM said the three laws got support from various sections of the farmer community and they were brought in after deliberations in Parliament.

Declaring the repeal of three controversial farm laws during a specially televised message on Friday (November 19), Prime Minister Narendra Modi admitted that his government couldn’t convince a section of farmers about the benefits of the reforms.

“I apologise if some farmers did not understand our pure intention and what we wanted to do through the farm laws. We have decided to repeal the three farm laws,” he said during the live message that coincided with Guru Govind Singh Jayanti.

“…such a sacred thing (the reform), absolutely pure, which is of farmers’ interest, we could not explain to some farmers despite our efforts. Agricultural economists, scientists, progressive farmers also tried their best to make them understand the importance of agricultural laws,” said Modi.

‘Our intention was welfare of farmers’

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The PM said the three laws got support from various sections of the farmer community and they were brought in after deliberations in Parliament. “Today, I am very grateful to all the farmers’ organisations that whole heartedly supported the laws,” he said.

Listing out the benefits entailed in the three laws, Modi said, “We worked to provide farmers with seeds at reasonable rates and facilities like micro-irrigation, 22 crore soil health cards. Such factors have contributed to increased agricultural production. However, we failed to make them understand about the benefits of the new laws and as such, we have decided to roll them back,” Modi said.

The PM reiterated his earlier statement that the intention behind introducing the new laws was welfare of farmers.

“Especially for the small farmers…in the interest of the agricultural world of the country, in the interest of the country, for the bright future of the village poor, with full sincerity, with dedication towards the farmers… this law was brought with good intention,” he said.

RSS-backed organisation says…

The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), which is affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), expressed surprise at PM Modi’s decision to repeal the contentious farm laws. “It (the repeal) will ultimately lead to long-term losses for the farmers,” BKS organising secretary Dinesh Kulkarni told ThePrint.

Kulkarni, however, said the decision was correct, taken with an objective to avoid “unnecessary controversy”.

The BKS had, in principle, favoured the farm laws all this while, except for suggesting a few changes with regards to legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Also read: Farm laws repeal: A lesson learnt or a Modi-BJP tactical strike?

“With a few improvements, the laws could have benefited farmers, especially small and medium farmers,” Kulkarni said, adding that the new legislation was aimed at calculating remunerative value based on cost.

“The honourable Prime Minister has talked about making the MSP more effective, and has also mentioned about forming a committee for it. Along with welcoming this (decision), the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh urges them (the government) to ensure representation of non-political organisations of the country in this (committee),” Kulkarni told ThePrint.

Last year, President Ram Nath Kovind had given his assent to the three bills passed by the Parliament: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.

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