Tell us your specific problem with agri laws; only then talks: Tomar to farmers

22nd February 2021

22nd February 2021

Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has conveyed that the Centre is ready to talk with protesting farmers on farm laws but he didn’t fail to mention that a mere gathering of the crowd doesn’t lead to revocation of legislations. 

Importantly, the agitating farm unions have been told that they need to specify which provisions in these new laws they find anti-farmer and that would be the basis of future talks. 

“Considering the issue with sensitivity, the government has held 12 rounds of talks with the farmer unions. But decisions on the basis of talks could be taken when objections are pointed out,” he told reporters. 

"You flatly say revoke the laws...It doesn't happen that crowd gathers and the laws get revoked.

"Now, if the agitating unions are well-wishers of the farmers, then they should make it clear which provisions are creating problems to them."

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 aims at freeing the farmers from the constraints of the state Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) whereby they would be able to sell their produce anywhere. 

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 protects and empowers farmers to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters for farm services. 

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 specifies that the supply of foodstuffs including cereals, pulses, potato, edible oilseeds, and oils shall be regulated only under exceptional circumstances. 

At present, the talks between the Union government and the farmers' unions have come to a standstill. This is because the farm unions have refused Centre’s proposal to suspend the farm laws for next 18 months. They want nothing but repeal of the laws. This despite the prime minister Narendra Modi making another overtures to the farmers in the Parliament, clarifying that the Mandi system and the procurement at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) would continue and won’t be affected by new laws. 

 

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