'Won't repeal farm laws': Centre invites farmers for talks, announces Rs 1 lakh crore fund for APMCs
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday once again reiterated that the Centre won't repeal the three contentious agricultural laws that were passed by the Parliament last year as he appealed to farmers to end their agitation and hold discussions with the Centre.
In press briefing following the first Union Cabinet meet after the rejig, Tomar, however, assured that agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) will continue be strengthened, adding that they will be allocated around Rs 1 lakh crore under Atmanirbhar Bharat to Farmers Infrastructure Fund.
"APMCs will not be done away with. After the implementation of farm laws, APMCs will receive crores of rupees from the Centre's Infrastructure fund, which will strengthen them and will be useful for more farmers," Tomar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Tomar also announced that the Centre has decided to amend the Coconut Board Act to boost coconut farming. He said that the Coconut Board president will be a non-official person, who "knows and understands the work of field".
The farmers and Centre have been at war ever since the Parliament passed the three contentious farm laws. The farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, claim that the laws will leave them at the mercy of corporate firms, alleging that the Centre wants to revoke minimum support price (MSP).
However, the Centre has refused to withdraw the acts but has agreed to amendments, saying the laws will revolutionise the farming sector. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also tried to reach out to the farmers and has called for modernisation in the agricultural sector.
"In every aspect of life, novelty and modernisation is essential. Otherwise, it becomes a burden on us. In India's agriculture sector, modernisation is the need of the hour. It's very late, we have already lost a lot of time," PM Modi had said in one of his episodes in Mann Ki Baat.
The three acts -- 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 -- were passed by the Parliament in 2020.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma