A day after ‘farmers’ caused havoc in the National Capital, shamed India on Republic Day, and injured over 300 policemen, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has come out in support of the farm laws.
Gita Gopinath recently said that the three laws have the potential to increase the income of the farmers in India adding that, however, there is a need to provide a social safety net to the vulnerable cultivators.
She added that it’s high time to reform India’s agricultural sector, which would need investment in infrastructure and farmer-friendly schemes.
“These particular farm laws were in the area of marketing. It was widening the market for farmers. Being able to sell to multiple outlets besides the Mandis without having to pay a tax. And this had the potential to raise, in our view, farmers’ incomes,” Gopinath said.
“That said, every time a reform is put in place, there are transition costs. One has to make sure and pay close attention that it’s not harming vulnerable farmers, to make sure that the social safety net is provided. Clearly there is a discussion right now and we’ll see what comes out if it,” she added.
The government, while introducing the farmers’ laws months earlier has said that the same will eliminate the middleman at the APMC mandis who fetch the majority of the profit from a farmer’s produce. The laws will bring the farmers in direct contact with the buyers and big investors who will pay them directly allowing them more income.
This is the second time IMF has praised the farm laws in recent weeks. However, despite the support from international organizations, farmers are not ready to accept the laws and don’t even reveal what problems they have with the laws.
Such bizarre attitude of the farmers has prompted many to believe that the farmers themselves don’t know what is wrong with the laws and are agitating for entertaining their political motives.
Recently, the government, in fresh offers to the farmers, said that it is ready to suspend the laws for 18 months and has invited farmers to come on the table and discuss the laws and suggest amendments during the same months.
The farmers, however, again rejected (what many experts claim as the best offer) the government’s offer and also, again, didn’t reveal what problems do they have with the laws.