Moneycontrol PRO
Access insightful & curated financial content with Moneycontrol PRO at just Re. 1/- per day. Use code PRO365.
you are here: HomeNewsPolitics

Farmers' Protest: Stalemate continues; Centre offers amendments, unions adamant on repeal of farm laws

Friday's meeting between the two sides was held three days after the Supreme Court order putting a stay on the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders and setting up a committee of agri-experts to speak with both sides. The next meeting will be held on January 19.

January 15, 2021 / 06:08 PM IST
Farmers, most of them from Punjab and Haryana, want the new agri farm laws scrapped.

Farmers, most of them from Punjab and Haryana, want the new agri farm laws scrapped.


The ninth round of talks between the farm leaders and the government ended without any breakthrough with the Centre refusing to repeal the three contentious laws.

The government, however, said it was hopeful to end the impasse through talks.

"We are positive to reach a solution through talks. The government is concerned about the farmers protesting in cold conditions," Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said after the meeting at Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan.

The farmers, on their part, remained adamant on their demand of repealing laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support prices (MSP) for their crops.

Close

"The government wanted us to form an informal committee. We have said no. If they do not want to repeal the laws, why call meetings," Hannah Mollah, All India Kisan Mahasabha general secretary and CPI (M) leader said after the meeting.

The next meeting will be held on January 19, he said.

The meeting on January 15 was the first meeting between the two sides after the January 12 Supreme Court order putting a stay on the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders.

The top court also set up a committee of experts that will talk to both sides and suggest changes wherever needed in the enactments as opposed by the farmers. The farmers have, however, refused to appear before the committee. They alleged that all the four members of the SC-appointed committee were pro-laws.

Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, after the meeting, that the farmers will not talk with the SC-appointed Committee constituted by the Supreme Court and talk to Centre  only.


Before the meeting, while the the government said that it was hopeful of ending the impasse in today’s meeting, farmers are adamant that nothing less than the repeal of the three farm laws will end their protest.

 

Follow our LIVE BLOG on Farmers' Protest here

In the first half of the meeting,  Tomar reportedly told farm leaders that the government is ready to make amendments to the objectionable clauses of the three laws, an offer that was refused by farm union leaders.

Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash, apart from agriculture minister Tomar, represented the government side.

The Centre also suggested that states having to decide on whether to implement the laws or not could also be worked out. Farm leaders refused this suggestion too.

Thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points for 51 days, demanding the repeal of the laws, and a legal guarantee on MSP for their crops.

The second half of the meeting on January 15 saw discussions on minimum support price (MSP).

The last round of talks between the two sides on January 8 hit a deadlock with the government refusing to repeal the laws.

On January 12, the Supreme Court put on hold the implementation of the three farm laws and announced the setting up of a committee of agri- experts.

Read | Farm bills have potential to represent significant step forward for agricultural reforms in India: IMF

After farmers refused to appear before the SC-appointed panel, Bhupinder Singh Mann, the national president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), one of the four members, recused himself from the committee. Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute's Pramod Kumar Joshi, and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati are on the panel, apart from Mann.

The farmers have said that they will go ahead with the scheduled peaceful tractor march on Republic Day.

Also read | By staying the implementation of the three farm laws, the SC has sent out the wrong message

The two sides had arrived at some common ground in the sixth round of talks held on December 30 with the government agreeing on two of the four demands of farmers – removing stubble burning penalty on farmers and withdrawing provisions in the draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020, which intend to change the mode of subsidy payment to farmers.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 15, 2021 05:45 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark