Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday dispelled the apprehensions about recent agricultural reforms, saying these will benefit farmers by enabling them to sell their produce anywhere, including to the private sector.
He said the reforms are part of the overall approach of his government to lift barriers in economic activities erected by previous regimes.
Addressing the annual general meeting of industry body FICCI, he also said that the country’s efforts towards Covid vaccines have brought a ray of hope in many countries.
“Now farmers can sell their produce anywhere. Farmers will get benefits by selling their produce to private players. The aim here is to increase the income of farmers,” he said.
He said farmers will get new markets and agriculture will get fresh investments.
He also said policies of the previous governments have erected barriers between different segments of the economy which are now being removed.
“The reforms that the country is witnessing are aimed at removing these barriers. Recent farm reforms are part of this. Barriers have been there in agriculture and allied sectors such as food processing, storage and cold chains. These are being lifted now,” Modi said.
He said his government has also taken many other reforms to address farmers plight. For instance, he said his government’s decision to allow ten per cent blending of ethanol in petrol will come to the aid of sugarcane farmers.
These farmers were earlier not able to get dues from mills or were not able to sell their canes to them, Modi reminded.
He expressed concern that private investors are not exploring the full potential of agriculture and the rural markets.
“More investments are required from you. Agri-based industries have a vast scope. Our government is committed to improving the lives of farmers through its intentions and policies,” the prime minister told FICCI members.
Later, in a different meeting Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the new farm acts will bring about revolutionary changes in the lives of farmers.
A section of farmers has been up in arms against three Farm Acts. The government has given various assurances to them such as minimum support price, but agitating farmers want the complete withdrawal of these laws. They filed a petition in the Supreme Court to intervene for ending the deadlock.
Modi said policies of previous governments were aimed at manufacturing of various products by the state only. “Even watches, scooters and TV sets were manufactured by the state,” he reminded the audience.
However, my government is reforming all this and the country is witnessing its outcomes, Modi said.
He cited the recent productivity linked incentive scheme in this context, saying those who perform will get incentives.
He said various indicators like foreign direct investments, foreign portfolio investments, direct benefit transfer, transactions on UPI show outcomes of the reforms undertaken by his government.
To buttress his point, the prime minister said transactions worth Rs four trillion are being conducted on UPI.
He said various economic indicators have improved a lot now.
“There were lots of unanswered queries earlier—how long will this continue, how will it be rectified. But, now the situation has changed for the better. We have answers and economic indicators are adding to our confidence,” he said.
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