Modi reverses his position on contentious agriculture regulations


In a startling policy turnaround, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Friday (November 19) that he has chosen to abolish three divisive agriculture laws, a move regarded as an attempt to soothe farmers before elections in two crucial states. Farmers have been protesting the legislation since November last year, camping on the outskirts of the capital.
“Everything I’ve done has been for the farmers, and everything I’m doing now is for the country,” Mr. Modi said in a statewide speech.
He planned the announcement to coincide with Gurupurab, a Sikh celebration commemorating Guru Nanak’s birth. Many protesting farmers are from Punjab, one of two states – the other being Haryana – that are generally referred to as the country’s breadbasket.
Mr. Modi apologized to the country, admitting that the administration had “some fault” in communicating the regulations to farmers. He advised those who were demonstrating to leave. He stated that the legislation would be repealed in the forthcoming session of Parliament, which begins next week.
Agriculture in India is in desperate need of change to increase production. The industry is beset by a slew of issues, ranging from its over-reliance on rain for irrigation to the rising cost of fertilizer and seeds, to name a few. Agriculture accounts for 15% of India’s GDP, yet most farmers are small landowners who are heavily in debt.
Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, according to the government, would attract much-needed private investment into agriculture.


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