New Delhi [India], December 5 (ANI): After its fifth round of talks on Saturday with farmer group leaders remained inconclusive, the Centre announced another meeting on December 9. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today reassured the agitating farmers that central government is ready to resolve all their issues. He also said that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will continue and there is "no threat to it."
Addressing a press conference after the meeting at Vigyan Bhawan, Tomar said: "We have said that the MSP will continue, there is no threat to it. It is baseless to doubt this. Still, if someone is suspicious then the government is ready to resolve it. We do not intend to affect the mandi in the states, they are not affected by the law either. The government is ready to do anything in its power to further strengthen the APMC. If anyone has any misconception regarding APMCs, then the government is absolutely ready to clarify it."
"We wanted to get some suggestions but it did not happen during the talks. We have told farmers that the government will consider all their demands. It would have been easier for us to find a solution if we had got suggestions from the farmer leaders. Now, on December 9, there will be another meeting and we have assured farmers to resolve their grievances. Amid cold season and Covid-19, I have requested the farmer union leaders to appeal to senior citizens and children to return home from protesting sites," he added.
Tomar said that the Modi government is committed toward the betterment of the farmers.
"I want to assure farmers that the Modi government is fully committed to you, and will remain so in future. Under PM Modi's leadership, several agricultural schemes have been implemented. Budget, MSP and farmers' income has also increased," he said
"I would not like to comment on program of Unions. But I would like to urge farmers and Unions to leave the path of agitation and come to the path of discussion. The Government has had several rounds of talks with them and is ready for further discussion for a solution," he added.
"This will also be in the interest of Delhi's citizens," he added.
Meanwhile, the proposed nationwide shutdown called by the protesting farmers will be held on December 8.
Farmers Union leaders said they want a complete repeal of the new agricultural laws.
"We said at the beginning of meeting that our demand is withdrawal of laws, we don't want amendment of the laws. We took a firm stand. Finally we were told that the next meeting will be held on December 9. It seems the government will definitely roll back the laws," Hannan Mollah, General Secy, All India Kisan Sabha said.
Tomar and Union Food and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal led the talks with leaders of the farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana whose agitation at Delhi borders and national capital entered day 10 today.
Earlier in the day during the meeting, the government had given a point-wise written reply of the last meeting after farmers' representatives asked the Government for it.
Piror to the meeting with farmer leaders at Vigyan Bhavan, senior ministers including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and others met and briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On December 3, the farmers held the fourth round of talks with the Centre and said the government had talked of bringing some amendments to farm laws. In the fourth round of the meeting, farmer leaders suggested the government to hold a special session of the Parliament and sought the abolition of the three farm laws.
The farmers are protesting against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)