In a historic decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the Centre will repeal all three farm laws and requested the protesting farmers to return back to their homes. This comes almost one year after farmers sat in protest against the three controversial farm laws in Delhi and across the country. Modi said that the laws will be repealed by the end of the month in the Winter Session of Parliament.
The announcement comes on Gur Purab, when Sikhism founder Guru Nanak's birth anniversary is celebrated.
#WATCH | We have decided to repeal all 3 farm laws, will begin the procedure at the Parliament session that begins this month. I urge farmers to return home to their families and let's start afresh: PM Narendra Modi pic.twitter.com/0irwGpna2N
— ANI (@ANI) November 19, 2021
"A majority of farmers are small scale farmers. And to help them, we took on a multi-faceted approach from seed technology, crop insurance schemes. We brought in the three farm bills for the benefit of small farmers, many farmers across the nation have welcomed it. I am thankful to them," the prime minister said.
Modi highlighted that three farm laws were brought to empower and strengthen small farmers, adding that it was a demand by farmers, economists and agricultural experts.
The prime minister said that the BJP-led Centre has not been able to convince farmers, and stressed that a section of them continued opposing even when the government tried to educate and inform them.
"We tried our best to explain to farmers. We were even ready to modify the laws, suspend them too. The matter reached the Supreme Court as well," he added.
"We haven't been able to explain to our farmers. This is not a time to blame anyone. I want to tell you that we have taken the farm laws back. We are repealing the farm laws." the prime minister said, adding that the Centre will withdraw all these three Bills in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
"One lakh crore have been given to farmers as compensation. Bima and pension to have been provided. There has been direct benefit transfer as well for the farmers," he added.
The government has also decided to implement Zero Budget Natural Farming, to make MSP more efficient and address other issues. "A committee to be formed which will comprise, Centre, State representatives, farmers, scientists, economists. Our government will continue to work for farmers," the prime minister added.
The three laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 — got the nation divided, leading to farmer-led agitations across the country for the past one year.
The farmers' main apprehension was that the laws will eventually abolish the Minimum Support Price (MSP) guaranteed by the Centre on select crops, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate houses.