As the protests near Delhi by farmers against the new farm laws entered their 24th day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the reforms introduced by his government six months ago have started benefiting farmers.
Speaking at a business event, PM Modi highlighted reforms spanning from the manufacturing sector to labour to say India has during the last six years emerged as the world’s preferred destination for investment.
Record foreign direct investment or FDI and foreign portfolio investment or FPI during the pandemic is a testimony to the faith that the world now has in India, he said.
“Agriculture reforms initiated six months back have started benefitting farmers,” he said without referring to the protests.
Later on Twitter, he urged people to read and share widely an e-booklet issued by the government highlighting how the recent agrarian reforms help farmers.
“There is a lot of content, including graphics and booklets that elaborate on how the recent Agro-reforms help our farmers. It can be found on the NaMo App Volunteer Module’s Your Voice and Downloads sections. Read and share widely,” the prime minister tweeted sharing snapshots of pages from the Hindi version of the booklet.
The appeal came a day after PM Modi said he was ready “with folded hands” to discuss every issue with farmers and allay their fear. He also said any talk about the new laws doing away with MSP or Minimum Support Price for crops “is the biggest lie ever”.
“If anyone has any concerns, then with our heads bowed and our hands folded, with humility, we are willing to discuss with them and assuage their fears,” PM Modi said, addressing farmers in Madhya Pradesh via video as part of the government’s redoubled efforts to reach out to farmers.
The Prime Minister also said though agricultural reforms were discussed for over two decades by every government, the opposition was misleading farmers.
Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at Delhi borders against the three laws which they say will leave them at the mercy of large corporations and revoke safeguards against being cheated.
At least five rounds of formal talks have been held between the three Union Ministers and 40 farmer unions to break the deadlock. The unions, however, are demanding a complete rollback of the laws.
(With inputs from PTI)