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On Friday, President Ram Nath Kovind praised the three farm laws of the Modi government that are at the heart of the protests by farmers. Speaking at the Parliament’s joint sitting on the first day of the budget session, Kovind said that more than 10 crore small farmers have begun to benefit from the three farm laws and that these reforms have been supported in the past by many political parties.
The Parliament passed three important farm reforms after extensive deliberations — the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Simplification) Bill, the Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Agreement Bill on Agriculture (Empowerment and Protection), and the Essential Commodities, Amendment Bill. More than 10 crore small farmers immediately began to receive benefits. Only after realising these benefits for small farmers did many political parties give full support to these reforms from time to time, he said.
Noting that the Supreme Court has put on hold the implementation of the three laws, Kovind said that whatever the decision of the apex court is, the government will respect it.
The President said that the current system and also the rights and facilities that were under the old system will not be affected by the new legislation.
“Rather, through these agricultural reforms, the government has given new rights to farmers as well as new rights,” he said.
During the farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day, Kovind also slammed the violence as “‘very unfortunate” He said that during the protests of January 26, the “insult” to the tricolour and Republic Day was “very unfortunate”
“If the Constitution gives us the right to freedom of expression, it also reaches us to take laws and rules seriously,” he said in his address, which was boycotted by more than 20 opposition parties in support of the demand that the three laws be repealed by protesting farmers.