Today, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured farmers that reforms in the agrarian sector were aimed at helping them as thousands of farmers continued protests against three new laws to overhaul the procurement and sale of produce.
The government has taken various initiatives to improve the income of people engaged in the farm sector, he said, adding that farmers now have options to sell their crops in mandis as well as to outside parties. Modi said, “All government reforms is to make farmers’ prosperous.” The government at any cost is committed to protecting the interest of farmers through “its policies and intentions”, he emphasized.
But protesting farmers in northern states fear the new legislation will eventually dismantle India’s regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of private buyers. Even the corporate tax in India is very competitive after the moderation affected last year, he added. It is to be noted that thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting against the new farm laws which they claim will dismantle the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporate houses.