Noting that long-pending reforms have been brought in the areas of labour and agriculture through legislation, President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the "path to reform at the initial stages may cause misapprehensions" but it is beyond doubt that the government remains singularly devoted to farmers' welfare.
In his address to the nation on the eve of 72nd Republic Day, the President referred to the three new farm laws brought by the government against which farmer unions have been holding a protest on Delhi's borders since November 26.
The farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks with the government and have not accepted the offer to put the three new farm laws on hold for about 18 months. They are demanding the repeal of the three laws.
The President said that adversity often plays the role of a great teacher and "makes us stronger and more confident".
"With that confidence, India has taken great strides in several sectors. Economic reforms have continued apace and have been supplemented by long-pending reforms in the areas of labour and agriculture through legislation. The path to reform at the initial stages may cause misapprehensions. However, it is beyond doubt that the Government remains singularly devoted to farmers' welfare," he said.
The President said equally salient but touching more lives directly is the comprehensive reform in education which was long overdue.
"The 'National Education Policy 2020', with its stress on tradition as well as technology, will lay the foundation of a New India which aspires to emerge as a knowledge hub on the international stage. This reform promises to incubate innate talent of students and ignite their minds to take up the challenges of life," he said.
The President said that every Indian salutes farmers, who have made "our vast and populous country self-reliant in food-grains and dairy products".
"Despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, our farmers sustained the agricultural production. A grateful nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers," he said.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital against the three newly enacted farm 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.