- Centre offers to increase the period of suspension of laws till the committee has submitted its report.
- Government has also proposed to form a special committee for discussing the MSP.
- Farmers demand complete repeal, complain that Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations not accepted as yet.
TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: On January 22, 2021, the Union government had given a 24-hour deadline to farmer unions to respond to Centre’s proposal to put the contentious farm laws on hold for 18 months.
After the 10th round of meetings between the two parties, the Centre had offered to stay the farm laws till the expert committee constituted to analyse the laws clause-wise reached a conclusion.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha which has over 500 farmer unions under its banner rejected the Centre’s proposal, pushing their demand for the complete repeal the laws.
On January 22, the government asked the unions to respond within 24 hours if they agreed to the proposal or suggest some other proposal, declining their demand for a total repeal.
“The talks have completed today. We have asked the unions to inform us by tomorrow if they agree to our proposal,” said Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare after the meeting.
“The government said suspending the laws for some time was the maximum they could do and if we had a better proposal other than repealing, we could inform it by tomorrow and arrange the next meeting,” Hannan Mollah, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, informed the media.
Although the meeting began at 12:30 PM and lasted for five hours, the actual discussion between the Centre and the unions only lasted for 20 minutes. Post lunch, the farmers waited for almost three hours for Tomar to return. As the meeting resumed, Tomar requested the farmers to evaluate the proposal again and informed the government has decided to terminate the dialogue with the unions.
However, farmers seem adamant on their demands and have refused to budge.
“Confidence regarding suspension and serious deliberation is not there among farmers,” said Mollah.
There is an apparent lack of mistrust between the two parties as pointed out by Rajendra Singh of Kirti Kisan Union as well. Complaining that none of the recommendations put forward by several committees regarding agriculture have not been implemented so far, Singh said,
“The recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission have still not been accepted”.
During the course of the half an hour meeting, the government also offered to increase the duration of the suspension of the laws and form a distinct committee for discussing the Minimum Support Price.
Source – Down To Earth