Farmer leaders to consider govt proposal to put farm laws on hold, next meet on Jan 22

New Delhi: Farmers leaders on Wednesday said they would consider the Centre’s proposal to put on hold farm laws for over one year and to form a committee of government and farmer representatives to discuss the laws clause wise and respond at the next meeting on January 22.

The tenth round of talks between farmer unions and the Central government over the three farm laws concluded at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The next round of the meeting will take place on January 22.

After the talks, farmer leaders said that they will discuss among themselves and will respond to the government’s proposal in the next round of meeting.

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“The government said that it is ready to file an affidavit in the court to the effect that it would put the implementation of the laws on hold for one and half a year. They also said that a committee would be formed on MSP and the laws. They said that the government would implement the recommendations of the committee. We will hold a meeting tomorrow and take a decision on the proposal,” Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha said while talking to the media.

“We asked the government to withdraw the fake cases registered by NIA against farmers. In response, the government said they are looking into the matter and asked us to provide the names of leaders against whom new cases, if any, have been registered,” he added.

Krantikari Kisan Union chief Darshan Pal said, “Three laws and MSP were discussed in the meeting. The government said that it will give an affidavit on 3 laws to the Supreme Court and we will put a moratorium for 1-1.5 years. A committee will be formed which will decide the future of the 3 laws and MSP. We said we would consider.”

“The government has said it is ready to suspend the laws for one and half a year. In reply, farmers said that there is no point in suspending the laws and made it clear that we want the repeal of the laws,” said Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan).

After the meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “During discussions, we said that government is ready to put on hold the farm laws for one or one and half years. I’m happy that farmer unions have taken this very seriously and said that they would consider it tomorrow & convey their decision on Jan 22. I feel that talks are progressing in the right direction and there is a possibility of finding a resolution on Jan 22.”

On January 12, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the Centre’s three farm laws and asked the committee formed by it concerning the laws to submit its report within two months.

The committee has been directed to hold a dialogue with farmers and submit its recommendations pertaining to the farm laws within two months from the date of its first sitting.

However, the leaders of farmers’ unions rejected the committee, saying their members were already in favour of the farm laws.

Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Mann) had recused himself from the four-member committee appointed by the top court over the new farm laws.

The first meeting of the Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to deliberate with concerned stakeholders on farm laws was held on Tuesday, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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