Speaking after remotely commencing the work on Maharaja Suheldev Memorial Chittaura Lake in UP’s Bahraich, Modi said: “Those who enacted laws to permit foreign companies in India are scaring farmers with tales about Indian companies. Their lies and propaganda have been exposed.” Modi said that after the enactment of the new farm laws, paddy procurement in UP had doubled, compared to last year. Agricultural reforms will benefit small and marginal farmers; positive feedback was coming in from across the country, he said.
“The formation of farmer producer organisations is very important to consolidate farmlands and address shrinking cultivation area per farmer,” Modi said. When 500 farmer families with 1-2 ‘bighas’ each join hands, they will turn more powerful than those with 500-1,000 bighas. PM also addressed the issue of sugarcane farmers’ dues. “Yogi government has already released 1 lakh crore to sugarcane farmers. The Centre has also given thousands of crores of rupees to state governments to enable sugar mills to pay the farmers,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, agriculture minister Narendra Tomar told ET on the farmers’ agitation outside Delhi: “We are ready for talks. We want to resolve the issue as soon as possible and are waiting for their response. The issue can be resolved through dialogue.” The government has held 12 rounds of discussion with protesting farmers and on January 22 informed the unions of its willingness to stay operation of the contentious central farm laws which triggered the stir for one-and-a-half years, till a joint committee of government and farmers reached an amicable resolution. The agitating farmer unions had rejected the proposal and reiterated their demand for repeal of the three laws.