Govt proposes putting farm laws on hold for 18 months: All you need to know

Published on Jan 21, 2021 11:41 AM IST

The government also told farm unions that it proposed to set up a committee of representatives as well as experts who should be nominated both by the protesters and the government to examine “all agitation-related issues”

Farmers protest at Singhu border in New Delhi on January 20. (PTI)
Farmers protest at Singhu border in New Delhi on January 20. (PTI)
ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer

The Centre on Wednesday took a step back and proposed to suspend for one-and-a-half years the three contentious farm laws enacted in September that have triggered protracted protests. Here is all you need to know about the laws and the proposal to assuage farmers in an attempt to end months-long protests against the legislation:

*In the 10th round of negotiations with a 41-member delegation representing protesting farm unions on Wednesday, the government said it will move an affidavit before the Supreme Court to put the laws in abeyance till a solution to the farmers’ demands is found.

*Leaders of major farm unions, who took part in the talks, said they will discuss the government’s offer on January 21, and make their stand clear when the next round of talks takes place on January 22.

Also read | Farmers likely to meet police officers today over proposed tractor rally

*To discuss the farmers’ issues, which include a law guaranteeing assured prices for their produce, the government also told farm unions that it proposed to set up a committee of representatives as well as experts who should be nominated both by the protesters and the government to examine “all agitation-related issues”.

*Farm unions have not rejected the government’s offer outright, unlike in the past, and said it was a proposal worth discussing, which offers a glimmer of hope to end the standoff.

*The unions will hold a two-tier discussion on January 21 to discuss the government’s proposal.

*The government has pushed a set of agricultural laws to ease restrictions in farm trade, allow traders to stockpile large quantities of food stocks for future sales and lay down a national framework for contract farming based on written agreements.

*Farmers say the laws will erode their bargaining power and leave them at the mercy of big corporations.

*On January 12, the Supreme Court suspended the laws.

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