Modi Govt Announces Post-Farm Laws Path With Appeal to Call Off Protest; New Panel to Include Farmers, Discuss MSP Transparency


The Narendra Modi government on Saturday announced its decision to constitute a committee that would deliberate on issues of farmers’ welfare, including crop diversification, zero-budget farming and MSP transparency.

The committee, which would spell out the way forward following the repeal of the three farm laws, will also include representatives from farmers’ organisations, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 will officially be repealed on the opening day of the Winter Session of Parliament on November 29.

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Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh under the aegis of various farmers’ unions have been protesting at the Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi since November 26 last year, demanding the rollback of the laws they allege favoured corporates over farmers. They had also sought a guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP).

While the protesting farmers had welcomed PM Narendra Modi’s announcement to repeal the laws, they had refused to call off the agitation until the legislations were recalled on the floor of Parliament.

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Tomar on Saturday appealed to the farmer unions to end the protest and return to their homes. He also announced that the government had accepted their demand to decriminalise stubble burning.

“With the constitution of this committee, farmers’ demand on MSP stands fulfilled. Farmer organisations had demanded to decriminalise stubble burning. The Government of India has accepted this demand as well… There is no point in continuing the agitation. I urge farmers to end their agitation and go home,” Tomar said.

Tomar also announced that police cases registered against farmers during the one-year protest fall under the jurisdiction of the state governments who will decide how to proceed with them now. The minister added that crop compensation for farmers will also be decided as per state policy.

Reacting to the government’s announcement, Balbir Singh Rajewal of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is leading the farmers’ protest, said, “We have not read the details of the committee that has been formed. We will respond and take action only after we are informed about the details,”

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