New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asserted the government is ready to talk openly on the new agricultural laws and amend them if needed even as he said the farmers agitating against the legislations are being 'misled'.
Singh, a former agriculture minister, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already clarified in Parliament that the existing MSP (minimum support price) system will continue and that the transactions under the new laws will be for the farmers' produce and not for their land.
In an address at an online event organised by the Madhya Pradesh government, the defence minister said the new farms laws were enacted to ensure the right price to the farmers for their produce and help them sell their produce anywhere in the country.
'An atmosphere of confusion was created and it was said that the wholesale market will no longer exist, the MSP system will come to an end and the land of the farmers would be mortgaged,' he said, adding the farmers were 'misled' and these confusions were created by people with 'vested interests'.
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said very clearly in the Parliament recently that there was MSP, there is MSP and there will be MSP,' he said.
He said the farmers are being misled despite clear articulation over the new laws and provisions by the government.
'The government is ready to talk openly on these agricultural laws and amend them if needed,' the defence minister said.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting at three border points on the outskirts of Delhi demanding repeal of the three contentious farm laws. The talks between two sides are deadlocked as the agitating farmers are insisting on complete repeal of the laws.
The farmers believe the implementation of the new farm laws will lead to closure of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) that operate wholesale markets in states. They also have apprehension that new laws will eventually result in the transfer of agricultural land of small and marginal farmers to big companies.
The government has rejected such apprehensions.
'In view of steps by our government, a new confidence is seen in the common farmers. Due to this confidence, the farmers produced record production of crops despite the coronavirus pandemic,' said Singh.
'Our government understands that rural areas are the foundation of the country's progress. Most of the people of our country live in rural areas and contribute towards the development of the nation in different ways,' he said.
At the event, Singh also paid glowing tributes to Jan Sangh founder Deendayal Upadhyay. PTI MPB ZMN