Prime Minister Narendra Modi today came out in strong support of private enterprises and greater investment in agriculture saying that a rethink needs to happen on the kind of power structure which has been created by letting bureaucrats handle every business in India.
He said there was time when defaming private enterprises used to fetch votes in this country but now times have changed and we need wealth creators to even distribute wealth among the poor and marginalized.
“We need to seriously think as to what kind of power structure has been created in this country where if you become an IAS officer you get to run a fertilser company or a chemical plant or even airlines, while the youths fail to get the same opportunity,” Modi said while replying to the President’s address to both houses of Parliament.
“Demoralising the private companies and disregarding their contribution won’t do any good to the country or its youth as our experience has shown that private enterprises in mobile manufacturing has lead to every poor family owning a mobile phone now, while the country’s private sector in the pharmaceutical space has been serving humanity through vaccines and medicines during Covid times,” Modi said.
Mounting a strong defence of the farm acts and increased private investment in agriculture, Modi said that his government and Parliament have great respect for farmers which is why it is talking to them.
He also made it clear that that those who want to continue with the old agriculture marketing system can continue doing so.
“We should ensure that farmers are not always dependent on government doles and more investment in agriculture will create more job opportunities for rural youths,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also said the government has offered to discuss clause by clause of the three farm laws and if there are any shortcomings it was ready to make changes.
"This House, our government and we all respect farmers who are voicing their views on the farm bills. This is the reason why topmost ministers of the government are constantly talking to them. There is a great respect for farmers.
"After the laws relating to agriculture were passed by Parliament, no 'mandi' has shut. Likewise, MSP has remained. Procurement on MSP has remained. These facts can't be ignored," he said.
The Congress walked out of Lok Sabha as PM Modi explained the government's stand on the three farm laws.
"Our farmer should become self-reliant; he should get freedom to sell his produce. There is a need to work in that direction," he said, adding agriculture has been a part of India's culture and the festivals have all been associated with planting and reaping of crops.
"I am surprised for the first time a new argument has come --we did not ask, so why did you give. Be it issue of dowry or triple talaq, no one had demanded laws to deal with them, but the laws were made as they were necessary for progressive society," he said.
He also invited the protesting groups to come to the negotiating table and said that the Centre is willing to amend the laws if there is any discrepancy in them.