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More efforts to be put in from both sides for consensus: Union Minister Arjun Munda on farmers' protest

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Ranchi (Jharkhand) | February 22, 2024 11:55:28 AM IST
Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda said on Thursday that though several rounds of discussions with the farmers were held, more efforts have to be made from both sides to reach a consensus.

He further affirmed the central government's commitment to working for the interest of farmers.

"I would like to say that meaningful talks have been held in the several rounds of discussions with farmers. But more hard work will have to be put in by both sides for agreement over a few issues. Government of India is committed to working for the interest of farmers and it is doing that," Munda said.

"We have told them we will find a solution through discussions because issues are resolved only through dialogues. We should find a solution together so that it is beneficial for everyone. I am hopeful that together we will find a solution," he added.

Munda is among the team of union ministers holding talks with the farmer union leaders, including Food and Civil Supplies Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State Nityanand Rai.

The Union Minister highlighted the graph of grain production under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also emphasised the achievements in the horticulture sector.

"Today, Rs 2 lakh 80 thousand crores are being transferred directly into the accounts of farmers through DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer in Agriculture Mechanisation), keeping in view of the farmer's need," the Agriculture minister said.

"If you look at the figures of many years, under the leadership of Narendra Bhai Modi ji, our grain production is 333 million tonnes more in this posture than before, in the same way, our vegetable cultivation is very good in the horticulture sector, that is, in all the sectors," he added.

The Union Minister also outlined the progress made in allied sectors related to agriculture in the country.

"Talking about Khadi, Khadi is also a product related to farmers, all value addition happens because the cotton industry means people from rural areas are more involved in it. Its turnover has become over 135 thousand crores," he said.

"In the same way, much good progress is being made in the allied sector related to the agriculture sector and people are involved in it, so this effort of everyone, which has got a new base under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, we have to take it forward and any such topic that comes up, we have to discuss it and also find a solution through discussion," the Union Minister said.

The General Secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher, said on Thursday that they have suspended their 'Dilli Chalo' protest march for two days to take stock of the ongoing situation on the Shambhu border in Haryana and further decisions will be taken accordingly.

The farmer leader condemned the Central Government's action against the protestors through para-military forces injuring hundreds.

"We had earlier announced that our movement will be completely peaceful but if unrest came up, then we had asked all the youth to stop proceeding and the leaders themselves had decided to take it forward from there. After the talks started, the central government ran away from the talks, then we started getting inauspicious news from Khanuri. This Shubhakaran Singh, his age is 23 years old, was shot in his head and three more were seriously injured, so in this kind of situation, to continue the talks. I did not think that we would be able to succeed. Looking at the entire situation, as the centre has fled," Pandher said while speaking to ANI on Thursday.

"For now, this movement is in a halt for two days. Whatever is going on, it will continue here only. After taking stock of the situation of all the disgusting things that are going on, we will take further decision keeping in mind all these things," he said.

On February 19, the farmer leaders rejected the Centre's proposal on MSP purchase, saying "not in farmer's favour".

"After the discussion of both forums, it has been decided that if you analyse, there is nothing in the government's proposal. Our government imports palm oil worth Rs 1.75 crore from outside which also causes illness to the general public. If this money is given to the farmers of the country to grow oil seed crops and MSP is announced, then that money can be used here. This is not in the favour of farmers. We reject it," farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dhallewal said.

The protesting farmers have been camping at the Shambhu border near Ambala since the start of the protest.

Several farmers and police personnel were injured in the clashes during the March that started on February 13. (ANI)

 
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