After the longest protest held by the farmers, PM Narendra Modi announced in his Friday address to the nation that the government will be withdrawing three farm laws passed last year.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government will withdraw the three farm laws brought in last year to liberalize India’s agriculture markets. The Center will repeal the laws in the parliament session that will be held this month while the PM urges the protesters to leave the protest sites. In his address to the nation, the PM apologized saying that the government was not able to convince a ‘section of farmers’ about the laws and that the laws were brought in with good intentions.
In his morning address, PM said, “Our government is committed to farmers’ welfare, especially small farmers. We are committed to serving them fully. We brought in farm laws with good intentions. I apologize to India and with a true and pure heart that may be… we were not able to convince farmers [over the farm laws]. I’m here to declare that we have decided to repeal the three farm laws…We will complete all the formalities during the Parliament session that begins this month.”
The three laws that were passed last year are The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. It was passed by the parliament last year in September by a voice vote. Before they were approved, these laws had first come in the month of June as the three Ordinances. It was said that these laws will help farmers sell their produce directly outside of government-regulated wholesale markets and will also help them with better prices.
However, the farmers were of the opinion that this new law will leave them vulnerable causing them to lose their price support on staples like wheat and rice eventually with big businesses coming in. Tens of thousands of farmers began to camp on major highways going towards Delhi as a protest against the laws which went on to become India’s longest-running farmers’ protest against the government. The announcement to withdraw the laws also comes ahead of the February-March elections in Uttar Pradesh where farmers hold a majority of the votes.