While Tomar refused to comment on the ongoing agitation and the remarks of Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Takait, he said everyone was free to voice their opinion in the country.
''Anyone can say anything in India. Every person has freedom. Agricultural reforms will bring a revolution in the lives of the country's farmers. These agriculture reform laws have been brought after 30 years of 'saadhana aur vimarsh' (meditation and discussions),'' the Union agriculture minister told reporters here.
The minister was here to attend a meeting of the consultative committee on agriculture.
Asked why he had not approached the protesting farmers for a dialogue, Tomar said, ''I have said what I had to say before and will not say anything on the subject.'' Batting for private investment in the agriculture sector, Tomar said there was no reform in the sector for a long time and the doors for private investment were almost closed. ''There is investment from the government, but unless private investment and hardwork do not join together, no sector moves forward. ''Private investment in any sector will increase employment opportunities, small farmers will be able to use technology and get attracted to costlier crops and produce crops according to global standards,'' he said. He said the government was setting up 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPO) and will spend Rs 6,850 crore on them. ''These FPOs will change the status of lives of small farmers, decrease his costs, increase his power of bargaining,'' he said. Tomar said small farmers, having less than two hectares of farm land, comprise 85 per cent of the total farmers in the country. ''Our farmer is a hard worker and governments have also made attempts, which has resulted in our country becoming a surplus nation when it comes to food grains. On a global scale, we are number one or two in terms of agriculture production,'' he said. Tomar said there was a time when the government's policies were production-oriented, but now India is in a great position as far as production is concerned, so, the government of India has decided to frame policies focussing on the income of farmers. ''The prime minister has said the central and state governments have to work along with farmers to double their income by 2022,” he added.
Under the PM-Kisan yojana, he said, the government has so far deposited Rs 1.58 lakh crore in over 11 crore farmers accounts.
The agriculture minister said the government has implemented the agriculture infrastructure scheme and till now, proposals worth Rs 10,000 crores from states have been received and about Rs 5,000 crores worth of proposals have been by accepted and work is in progress on them.
He also assured that the Centre stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the farmers in Kashmir.
''Let them move forward and take Kashmir forward as well,'' he said.