Supreme Court-appointed panel to begin consultations with farmers
- According to the Supreme Court’s instructions, the committee has to submit a report to the apex court in two months.
The Supreme Court-appointed panel for resolving grievances concerning the newly passed farm laws will begin its consultations with the farmers’ unions from Thursday.
Farm activist Anil Ghanwat, one of the members of the panel, said that they have drawn up a list of categories of organisations which would be invited over the course of the consultations.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of farm unions leading protests against the three laws, has however said its members would not appear before the committee.
According to the Supreme Court’s instructions, the committee has to submit a report to the apex court in two months.
The Supreme Court had named Bharatiya Kisan Union president BS Mann, Maharashtra's Shetkeri Sangthana chief Anil Ghanwat, and economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Kumar Joshi as the four members of the panel. However, Mann later recused himself from the committee saying that he is duty-bound to protect the interests of farmers.
Earlier on Monday, Ghanwat said that the panel faces the challenge of convincing farmers’ unions representatives to come and share their concerns with them. “The biggest challenge for the panel is to convince agitating farmers to come and speak with us. We will try our best,” Ghanwat was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Ghanwat also outlined that the panel will take the views of every stakeholder into consideration while trying to break the deadlock which has led widespread agitations at Delhi’s borders for more than eight weeks. He also added that panel members will keep their personal views on the newly passed farm laws aside while discussing means to mitigate the problems arising from the new laws. “Panel members will keep their personal views on farm laws aside while preparing reports to be submitted to the Supreme Court. We want to request those farmers who don't want to come before us that we are neither from any party nor on behalf of the government. The Supreme Court has sent us,” he said.
Farmers’ have been protesting against 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 claiming that these laws will help multinational companies enter the agricultural sector and adversely impact farmers’ incomes. Farmers also say that these laws will affect government procurement of crop yields under the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system.