First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: India will scrap three laws that farmers have protested against since last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Friday.
“Today, I am here to tell you, and the whole country, that we have decided to take back, to repeal, the three agriculture laws,” Modi said, according to a CNBC translation of his remarks in Hindi.
He added that the government will begin the constitutional process in parliament later this month to repeal the laws. Modi also urged protesters to return home in his address to the nation.
India’s main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, described Friday’s announcement as “a historic victory for our farmers, our people & our democracy.”
The Indian parliament passed those laws in September 2020. The reforms would have chipped away at some of the rules that have protected India’s farmers for decades and would subject them to unfettered free-market mechanisms where competition would be high.
Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about half of India’s 1.3 billion population but accounts for only around 15% of GDP. Economists generally agree that India’s agricultural sector needs reforms, in part to promote faster growth and deploy more sustainable use of scarce resources like water.
But farm reform policies also tend to be politically sensitive in nature.
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