Government ready to accept all good suggestions on farm laws: Nitin Gadkari
New Delhi [India], December 15 : Noting that the government is ready to accept all good suggestions from farmers about the farm laws, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said it will “convince farmers, explain and find a way through dialogue”.
In an interview with ANI, he said dialogue is the only way to find a solution to protest by farmer unions and a break in talks can lead to miscommunication.
The minster, who is Minister of Road Transport and Highways and a senior BJP leader, said there will no injustice with the farmers in the Narendra Modi government.
“The government is ready to accept all good suggestions (from farmers). It will take some time. Our government will convince the farmers, explain and find a way through dialogue,” he said.
The minister said the farmers should be told the truth “in the right way”.
“If there is no dialogue, it can lead to miscommunication, to controversy and sparring. If there is a dialogue then issues will be resolved, the whole thing will end, farmers will get justice, they will get relief. We are working in the interest of farmers,” Gadkari said.
“Farmers should come and understand these laws. Our government is dedicated to farmers and is ready to accept the suggestions given by them. There will not be any injustice with farmers in our government,” he added.
The Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister said that farmers’ union should discuss the farm laws clause by clause with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar who is ready for it.
“I want to ask a simple thing. If you go to the pharmacy, who decides the cost of medicine, shopkeeper or the company? You go to restaurant for having food, who decides the cost of your bill. It is the owner of the hotel,” he said.
“While travelling by airplane who decides the cost of the ticket? It is the company who owns it. But why the farmers don’t decide the cost of their crop production, is it right? When farmers go to mandi for procurement of their crop, the middlemen or the businessmen decide the rate,” he said.
Gadkari said if he is asked to talk to farmers, then he will talk to them.
“Right now Agriculture and Commerce Ministers are engaged in dialogue with farmers. If I am told to talk to farmers, I will definitely talk to them,” he said.
The minister said that the NDA government has increased the minimum support price of crops several times in the past six years.
“In the last six years, we increased the MSP of crops six times. Tell me how are we against the farmers? Works which were done in the last six years in the interest of farmers were not done in last 50 years,” he said.
Asked about social activist Anna Hazare warning of hunger strike if the Centre does not fulfil his demands including the implementation of the recommendations made by MS Swaminathan Commission, the minister said: “I don’t think Anna Hazareji will join. We have not done anything against the farmers. It is the right of farmers to sell their produce in mandi, traders or anywhere else.”
He said poor farmers are committing suicides. “I come from Vidarbha. Over 10,000 farmers committed suicide. It should not be politicised. Those suggestions by farmers, farmers organisations which are correct we are ready to make those changes,” he added.
Farmers are protesting on borders of Delhi demanding the repeal of three farm laws enacted recently by the government. They have been on protest since November 26.
They have rejected the proposals of the government concerning changes in the farm laws and have held five rounds of talks with the Centre besides attending a meeting called by Home Minister Amit Shah.
Farmers have been protesting against 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.