December 17, 2020 4:40:56 pm
The government is willing to sit with the farmers protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws and sort out the issues, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere have been protesting at various border points of Delhi, including Singhu and Tikri, for over a fortnight, demanding that the Centre repeal the three new farm laws.
“It pains me that many people who are sitting in protest probably are not aware of what they are protesting against… Government is still sending a message to all the farmers that please come and talk,” Puri said at an online function of industry chamber HDCCI.
There were three demands — MSP (minimum support price) should not be taken away, mandis should stay and nobody should in a clandestine manner usurp the farmers’ land — and all these have been granted, he added.
“There has been a big misunderstanding… we are willing to sit with anyone and sort this out,” Puri added.
The minister, who also holds the civil aviation portfolio, expressed confidence that by the end of December and the first quarter of 2021 (January-March) “we will be back to pre-COVID levels”.
He said that all the normal civil aviation operations were closed when India went in for a lockdown in March and reopened on May 25, with just 30,000 passengers a day.
“A few days ago, we had more than 2,53,000 passengers… I am confident that by the end of December and the first quarter of 2021 (January-March 2021), we will be back to pre-COVID levels,” he added.
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