Farm laws: Tomar asks farmers’ unions leaders to offer alternative other than total repeal
Union minister for agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday the farmers’ unions representatives were adamant on their demands of repealing the three farm laws during the eighth round of talks. Tomar also pointed out that the government urged farmers’ unions’ representatives to propose alternatives other than demanding a total rollback.
“Discussion on the laws was taken up but no decision could be made. The government urged that if farmers’ unions give an option other than repealing, we will consider it. But no option could be presented, so the meeting was concluded and it was decided to hold the next meeting on January 15,” Tomar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Tomar, along with Piyush Goyal and other Union ministers, has conducted eight rounds of discussions with the representatives of the farmers’ unions but both parties have failed to reach an agreement over the farm laws. Ahead of the meeting, Tomar had reiterated that both sides need to take steps to reach a solution. “I am hopeful that talks will be held in a positive atmosphere and a solution will be found. During discussions, each side has to take steps to reach a solution,” Tomar had said before reaching Vigyan Bhavan.
While the government has previously indicated that it is ready for the long haul and is not keen on repealing the laws, farmers’ unions’ representatives also remained stolid on their stance. The farmers, who are agitating at Delhi’s borders since the last 45 days, have warned that the protests will further intensify and more tractor rallies will be organised to protest against the government’s stance.
Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader, said that farmers will continue to remain at Delhi’s borders unless the laws are repealed. “Farmers won’t relent before the laws are repealed. We’ll come on Jan 15 again. We’re not going anywhere. The government wanted to talk about amendments. We don’t wish to have clause wise discussions. We simply want a repeal of the new farm laws,” Tikait was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Hannan Mollah, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) leader, who had earlier in the day said that he is ready for any eventuality, echoed similar sentiments and said that the protest scheduled for January 26 will go ahead as planned. He said, “There was a heated discussion, we said we don’t want anything other than repeal of laws. We won’t go to any Court, this (repeal) will either be done or we’ll continue to fight. Our parade on January 26 will go on as planned.”
Tomar also said that there are several farmers’ groups who are supporting the farm laws and are ready to discuss concerns with them. The government believes that the introduction of these laws will help the agricultural sector in the country and allow farmers to double their incomes.
Farmers believe that the 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 will affect the procurement of yields under the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and allow multinational companies to use the sector to maximise their profits at the expense of the farmers.
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