Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar speaking to the media after meeting with farmer unions on Thursday (Photo/ANI)
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar speaking to the media after meeting with farmer unions on Thursday (Photo/ANI)

MSP will continue, government will consider demand for registration of traders, Tomar tells farmers

ANI | Updated: Dec 03, 2020 21:17 IST

New Delhi [India], December 3 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday reached out to protesting farmers over their demands, saying MSP will not be touched, the government was open to their suggestions for parity between mandis under APMC Act and those outside, for disputes under the new farm laws being adjudged in courts and for registration of traders.
Talking to media persons after the fourth round of talks between the government and representatives of protesting farmers, he said the government has no ego and it was discussing the issues raised by farmers with an open mind.
The minister said the government will discuss points that emerged at the meeting on Friday and hoped that talks will move towards finality when the next round of discussions is held on Saturday.
He said the government has no ego in discussing demands of farmers.
"Some points have been raised in previous meetings and today's meet. Farmer unions are mainly concerned about these issues. Government has no ego, it was discussing with farmers with an open mind," he said.
Tomar said farmers are concerned that the new laws will end Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs).
He said that there was concern that transactions outside APMC will not entail tax under the new laws and APMC will suffer.
"Government will contemplate seeing that APMC is further strengthened and its use increases. New laws lay down provisions for private mandis outside the purview of APMC. So, we will also contemplate having an equal tax for private as well as mandis under AMPC Act," Tomar said.
Referring to concerns over MSP (minimum support price), he said it will continue.
"There is no danger to it. The Narendra Modi government has improved it. We are fully committed to MSP," he said.
Tomar said more crops were being procured by the government under MSP.
Referring to concerns that the new laws provide that farmer-producer companies or retailers can purchase directly from farmers outside the regulated mandis with just a permanent account number (PAN) card, he said the government will consider the suggestion that the traders are registered.
He said that the new laws provide that farmers can take their grievances to sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) court as it is nearest to the farmer but farmers' unions feel that they should be able to move higher court and that SDM court is a lower court.
"The government will consider this demand," Tomar said.
He said the farmers also expressed their concerns over an ordinance on stubble burning and the Act on electricity. "The government is open to consider and discuss these issues as well," he said.
The minister said the new farm laws make it clear that farmers' land cannot be acquired in case of a dispute but if there is need for more clarity, the government is willing to consider it.
He appealed to farmers to end their agitation so that the people of Delhi do not face problems.
Tomar said that the talks have resulted in the emergence of some points. "The government will consider them, the unions will also consider and I hope it (the talks) will reach decisive stage day after tomorrow," he said.
The farmers are protesting in border areas of Delhi against three farm laws enacted by the government recently. (ANI)