'Whatever they want to add and subtract': Tomar hopeful of farmer unions resuming talks soon
New Delhi Dec 23: Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday reiterated that the government was ready for a discussion at a time and date as per "convenience" of the farmers' unions.
"Through various schemes, we will fill all gaps in agriculture sector, which will benefit farmers and ensure that they get the right price...Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw that the work related to farming and agriculture wasn't affected," news agency ANI quoted Tomar as saying.
"I would also like to thank banks, as they brought more than 1 crore farmers under Kisan Credit cover during the pandemic gave farmers Rs 1 lakh crore in the last eight months. We've undertaken some reforms and will bring in future," he added.
"I'm hopeful that farmers' unions will discuss our request. Whatever they want to add and subtract from the government's proposal, they should tell us. We're ready for a discussion at the time and date of their convenience. I'm hopeful for a solution," Tomar further said.
Agriculture Ministry had written to the protesting groups on Sunday, urging them to specify their concerns on the government's proposal and finalise a date for the next round of talks to end the protests.
At least five rounds of formal talks have failed to break the deadlock as the agitating unions have not agreed to anything less than repeal of the laws.
UP-based Kisan Sangarsh Samithi (KSS) and Delhi-based Indian Kisan Union (IKU) are among those farmer groups that have extended support to the laws in the last three weeks.
The previous groups were from Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
However, nearly 40 groups are agitating against the laws on various Delhi borders.
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.
The government has been saying that these apprehensions are misplaced