An Indian government minister told CNBC on Monday that the ongoing protests by Indian farmers could not continue indefinitely or that it would prevent the country’s economic recovery from the Govt-19 epidemic.
There are thousands of Indian farmers The three have been protesting for weeks against farm reforms They were enacted into law this year. Protesters said the new measures would lower crop prices and affect their incomes.
Demonstrations hurt agriculture and related industries According to Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Union Aviation Minister.
“It affects not only agriculture but also other related areas. Of course there is a damage,” Puri told CNBC. Tanveer Kill, When asked how much the demonstrations affected agricultural production.
“We have to move forward. When the economy slowly returns to the pre-Govt position after the Govt, there is a revival of demand, production, etc. We should not allow (demonstrations) to continue indefinitely, a further setback to our revival efforts,” he said on Tuesday.
Farmers gather on the border connecting Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to oppose the new farm laws.
Saqib Ali | Hindustan Times | Getty Images
The minister, who is with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, defended the farm reforms. He reiterated the government’s position These measures will benefit farmers, And accused the parties of “self-interest” in inciting peasant fears about reforms.
Puri said there will be key measures such as minimum support prices. Minimum support prices, or MSPs, are prices set by the Government of India to purchase certain crops – allowing farmers to make a minimum profit on their harvest regardless of market conditions. The unions fear that if this system is abolished, farmers will be less likely to pay for their crops.
Economists generally agree that India’s agricultural sector needs reforms. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for about 58% of India’s population, but accounts for 15% of GDP.
Puri said the government has met with farmers’ representatives several times to try to resolve any grievances related to the reforms – and is committed to doing so again. The minister said he considered the government’s message to farmers to “start clearing the house”.
“Any problem, no matter how serious it is, you can always find a solution. And the government is committed to finding a solution,” he said.
“We are confident that the most productive section of our society, the farmers, will sit with the government and find a way forward.”
The protests come at a time when the Indian economy is reeling from the effects of the Govt-19 epidemic. India’s economy contracted by 23.9% year-on-year in the April-June quarter following a nationwide crackdown on the spread of the corona virus. Economic contraction narrowed in the quarter ending September, The economy has shrunk by 7.5% from a year ago.
However, the International Monetary Fund forecast in October The Indian economy will shrink by 10.3% In the current financial year ending March 2021.
– Saheli Roy Chowdhury contributed to this report.