Farm laws stir: Supreme Court-appointed panel to set up portal for farmers
The Supreme Court-appointed committee will set-up a portal for farmers where they can share their views about the contentious farm laws. This was decided after the first meeting of the panel on Tuesday.
"Even an individual farmer can submit his/her views on the portal to be notified soon," said Anil Ghanawat, president of Shetkari Sanghatana and one of the members of the committee.
The committee is keen to understand the opinion of all concerned on the subject so that it can give suggestions which will definitely be in the interests of the farmers of India, Ghanwat said. Soon, it will also send invitations to the farmers' unions and associations to discuss their views on farm laws.
In its meeting on Tuesday, the panel discussed the roadmap of activities for two months to prepare their recommendations after discussion with farmers, their unions and other stakeholders.
Other two members of the panel - Dr Ashok Gulati, former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Dr Pramod Joshi, former director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute - were also part of the meeting. Bhupinder Mann, the fourth member of the committee, has already recused himself.
On January 12, the top court had stayed the implementation of the three laws, against which tens of thousands of farmers are protesting at various Delhi borders, till further orders. It also constituted a committee to scrutinise the laws and resolve the stand-off between the government and the farmers. While the government is in favour of the committee formation, farmers say they will not hold any talks with the panel as the members are already pro-reforms.
The protests are continuing for over 50 days now and the government has held nine rounds of talks so far but failed to bring any resolution to the matter. The farmers are adamant on the demand to repeal the laws which the government has refused and is firm on their offer to amend the legislation. The next round of talks will take place today.
In the last meeting, the Centre had suggested that the unions constitute their own informal group to prepare a concrete proposal on the three farm laws for further discussion at their next meeting. The Union agriculture minister also assured that the government will hear the proposal with an "open mind."
Farmers are agitating against 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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