Agri minister Tomar appeals farmers to end seven-month long protest




As farmers’ protest against the new farm laws entered eighth month, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Saturday appealed to protesting farmers to end their agitation while saying that the government is ready to resume talks on the provisions of three legislations.


The government farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks so far, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock end the farmers’ protest. Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.





Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi’s borders for seven months now in protest against the three laws that they say will end state procurement of crops at MSP.


The Supreme Court has put on hold the implementation of the three laws till further orders has set up a committee to find solutions. The committee has submitted its report.


“I want to convey through your (media) that farmers should end their agitation. ….Many are in favour of these new laws across the country. Still, some farmers have any issue with provisions of the laws, Government of India is ready to listen discuss with them,” Tomar tweeted.


He said the government held 11 rounds of consultations with protesting farmer unions. The government has increased the minimum support price (MSP) is procuring more quantity at MSP.


Farmers’ protest had started on November 26 last year has now completed seven months notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic. Three union ministers, including Tomar Food Minister Piyush Goyal, have held 11 rounds of talks with the protesting farmer unions.


In the last meeting on January 22, the government’s negotiations with 41 farmer groups hit a roadblock as the unions squarely rejected the Centre’s proposal of putting the laws on suspension.


During the 10th round of talks held on January 20, the Centre had offered to suspend the laws for 1-1.5 years form a joint committee to find solutions, in return for protesting farmers going back to their respective homes from Delhi’s borders.


The three laws — The Farmers’ Produce Trade Commerce (Promotion Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance Farm Services Act, 2020, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 — were passed by the Parliament in September last year.


Farmer groups have alleged that these laws will end the mandi MSP procurement systems leave the farmers at the mercy of big corporates, even as the government has rejected these apprehensions as misplaced.


On January 11, the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the three laws till further orders appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse. Bhartiya Kisan Union President Bhupinder Singh Mann had recused himself from the committee.


Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) President Anil Ghanwat agriculture economists Pramod Kumar Joshi Ashok Gulati are the other members on the panel. They have completed the consultation process with stakeholders submitted the report.

(Only the headline picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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