Farmers’ talks with Centre inconclusive: Who said what at Vigyan Bhawan meeting
The meeting between the representatives of the protesting farmers’ organisations and the Union ministers on Thursday remained inconclusive, though both sides found silver lining after the seven-hour deliberation at Vigyan Bhawan. The farmers organisations are hopeful that in the next meeting — which is scheduled on December 5 — the issue will be resolved as the Centre on Thursday agreed to review several provisions of the laws. The Centre too is pinning its hope on the next meeting after today’s discussion. Meanwhile, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has urged the agitating farmers to withdraw their protests so that people in Delhi do not suffer.
Here is what happened at the meeting:
> The meeting was held at a cordial environment with 40 leaders representing various farmers’ organisations that are currently protesting the agricultural laws which the Centre projects as reforms but the farmers are worried that minimum support price will be withdrawn.
> The farmers pitched for the repeal of the three farm laws, which the Centre had earlier refused.
> Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government listened to the grievances of the farmers with an open mind. Some of the points have also been raised in previous meetings. “Government has no ego. It was discussing with farmers with an open mind. Farmers are concerned that the new laws will end APMCs,” the agriculture minister said.
> In the meeting, the Centre reiterated to the farmers that the MSP system will continue.
> The farmers expressed their reservation over the provision where they are supposed to take their grievances to SDM courts. “Farmers’ unions feel that SDM court is a lower court. Govt will consider this demand,” Tomar said.
> The farmers raised concerned over trading outside the purview of mandi. The trading is supposed to take place on the basis of PAN card. The farmers, at today’s meeting, pointed that getting hold of a PAN card is very easy. The Centre has assured the farmers that traders will be registered.
> The farmers organisations said there was little progress in the meeting as the government has only assured about MSP.
> The farmer leaders said the government accepted that there are certain drawbacks which they will amend. “We said we don’t want amendments but withdrawal of laws. We also demanded that MSP be implemented for certain and law should be made for it,” farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said.