The union government has reiterated that it is open to hold talks over the three contentious farm laws with the farmers who have been agitating on the borders of Delhi for nearly eight months.
In response to a starred question in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that so far 11 rounds of talks have been held between the government and farmers' outfits to find a solution. The farmers' organizations never agreed to discussions, but only demanded the repeal of the laws.
Tomar in his written reply said, "Many efforts have been made by the government to end the protests. There were 11 rounds of talks between the government and the farmers to end the deadlock. The government also explained point-wise to the farmers through a letter dated December 9, 2020 that their concerns were being taken care of. We also proposed to form a committee. However, the farmers' bodies never agreed to discuss the laws, they want only repeal."
The Agriculture Minister said that the government was always ready for discussions with the farmers to resolve the issue.
Tomar also listed the benefits of the new farm laws. He said, "with these laws, an ecosystem has to be created, in which there is a free choice of sale of agricultural produce and farmers get fair returns. Direct procurement will be done from farmers under all three agricultural laws. There will be rapid investment in storage facilities, which will create more employment opportunities for rural youths. The law aims to promote transparency in the agriculture sector by promoting the electronic system to facilitate remunerative prices to the farmers and encourages investment in storage facilities to generate rural employment."