As part of factor market reforms, he said, the government has also brought in changes in labour laws.
Dozens of central government labour laws are now being replaced with four labour codes, which are modern labour codes, he said addressing a virtual conference organised by Public Affairs Forum of India.
“We removed a lot of unnecessary regulations … same thing we did with farm laws. These laws have been debated for 20-30 years … there may be some adjustment needed to make it more smooth for certain segments of the farmers but overall we remain committed to implementing these farm laws in spirit because they are good particularly for small farmers,” he said.
They allow essentially a market to be created after all nobody would want their products to be sold through a particular mandi, he added.
He clarified that existing mandis are not going to disappear but they will remain and compete with others.
However, thousands of farmers have been demanding a rollback of these three laws– Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
These farmers have been protesting at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) procurement system for their crops.
Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the mandi (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.