Govt postpones 10th round of talks with farmers' leaders to Jan 20: Reports
The next round of talks between the representatives of farmers, who are protesting against the three farm laws, and the Centre has been deferred by a day, reports said on Monday. The tenth round of meeting with farmers' unions was scheduled for Tuesday. News agencies ANI and PTI cited officials of the Union agriculture ministry as saying that the talks have been postponed to Wednesday.
The farmers have been protesting since November last year to demand the scrapping of farm laws saying they will hurt their livelihoods. A team of 41 representatives of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha has been participating in negotiations with the Centre, which has been represented by Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Parkash.
Farmers want the farm laws, which were approved by Parliament in September, repealed but the government has rejected their demand. Nine rounds of talks so far have failed to break the deadlock.
Earlier in the day, Union agriculture minister Tomar had hoped that protesting farmers' unions will discuss alternatives other than the repeal of the new farm laws in the tenth round of talks as he appealed them not to go ahead with their tractor rally on Republic Day in Delhi.
"We had nine rounds of talks so far. I have always said that farmers' unions should discuss the provisions of the laws. The government is discussing and wants to discuss with an open heart if they point out any problem with provisions of the laws," he said, according to PTI. "I want to appeal to farmers that January 26 is our Republic Day and the country has got independence after much sacrifice. Ensuring that the dignity of the Republic day is not affected is the responsibility of farmers also. I hope they will reconsider their decision," he had said.
The minister also said that the central government is fully committed to farmers. The Modi government has rolled out several agri-schemes in the last six years to improve farmers' plight and make farming profitable.
Protesting union leaders have said farmers have a constitutional right to take out their tractor rally peacefully and asserted that thousands of people will participate in the proposed event on January 26.
The three laws in question, which have been stayed by the Supreme court, are -- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.
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