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Agriculture minister urges Punjab farmers to end protest, hold discussions

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Amid the continuing stalemate, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday urged Punjab farmers to end their protest and come forward to hold discussions with the government to resolve the deadlock over the three new farm laws.

Tomar, who is leading the talks with 40 farmers unions, hoped that farmers would understand the importance of these three legislations and will hold discussion with the government to reach a solution to break this stalemate.

Stating that there is some misconception in minds of Punjab farmers, the agriculture minister said: “I want to urge them to leave the protest and come forward for the dialogue. I am hopeful that farmers will understand the importance of new laws and reach a solution.”

Thousands of farmers and their family members are protesting at various Delhi borders for nearly a month seeking repeal of the three farm laws. So far, five rounds of formal talks between the Centre and 40 protesting farmer unions have remained inconclusive.

Also Read: PM Modi releases Rs 18,000 cr under PM-Kisan scheme, attacks Opposition

The government has written twice inviting them for the next round of talks at a date of their convenience.

Besides Tomar, Food, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash are participating in the discussion with the 40 farmer unions.

The protesting groups have maintained that the new laws will eliminate the safety net of the minimum support price (MSP), do away with the mandi (wholesale market) system and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.

However, the government has been saying that these apprehensions are misplaced.

PM Modi releases funds for farmers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday released the Rs 18,000 crore installment of PM-Kisan scheme to 9 crore farmers of the country. Notably, under the PM-Kisan scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to small and marginal farmers, payable in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

The prime minister also attacked the opposition for misleading the farmers on the farm laws. The farmers protest has started attracting global attention, with US lawmakers urging state secretary Mike Pompeo to discuss the issue with his New Delhi counterpart.

 

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