New Delhi [India], December 5 (ANI): Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar on Saturday said that APMCs will not be weakened and MSP will continue as he urged farmer unions to give up their agitation and solve their grievances through talks.
The minister made the remarks after the fifth round of talks with representatives of 40 farmer Unions held at Vigyan Bhawan today.
Apart from Tomar, Minister for Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash took part in the meeting. The next round of talks will take place on December 9.
During the dialogue, there was an exchange of opinions of both sides. The Agriculture Minister assured farmer unions that the existing APMCs will not be weakened.
He said Modi Government is committed to the welfare of farmers and has taken a number of steps and pro farmers reforms.
"MSPs have been hiked multiple times and will continue in future," he said.
The minister appealed to the farmers' unions that they should give up their agitation and solve their grievances through talks and dialogue. He appealed that children and elders should be allowed to go home in view of the cold and COVID-19.
"We request kisan unions to send elderly and children back home in wake of COVID and cold weather. I want to request protesting farmers to give up their movement so that they don't face inconvenience in this cold weather and citizens of Delhi can also live a life of convenience," he said.
Tomar said that farmers should keep faith in Narendra Modi government that whatever will be done, it will be in their interest.
"I want to thank farmer unions for maintaining the discipline. I want to assure farmers that Modi government is fully committed to you and will remain so in future," he said.
He referred to steps taken by the government for farmers including an increase in budgetary allocation for agriculture, PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi and Rs one lakh crore agri-infrastructure fund.
Farmer leader said they conveyed their concerns to the government.
Bharatiya Kisan Union Rakesh Tikait told the media after the meeting that the government will prepare a draft and give them.
He said that there will be Bharat Bandh on December 8 as announced earlier.
"They said that they will consult the states too. Discussions were held on MSP too but we said that we should also take up laws and talk about their roll back. Bharat Bandh will go on as announced," he said
Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, said they told the government at the beginning of the meeting that their demand is the withdrawal of laws and they do not want amendments.
"We took a firm stand. Finally, we were told that the next meeting will be held on Dec 9. It seems the government will definitely roll back the laws," he said.
Thousands of farmers continue their protest on Delhi borders against three farm laws recently enacted by the government. They are getting food material from other farmers. A group of farmers from Jalandhar were among those who came today with food and vegetables for protesting farmers.
The farmers are protesting against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)