Supreme Court-appointed panel to meet farmers on Jan 21
A member of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court to examine the three farm laws, which have triggered protests by farmers, said it will meet farmers on Thursday, after holding its first round of internal consultations, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday. The news agency cited Anil Ghanwat, one of the members of the committee, as saying that they will hold talks with farmers' organisations which want to meet them in person. "Video conferencing will be held with those who can't come to us," Ghanwat said, according to ANI.
"If the government wants to come and speak with us, we welcome it. We will hear the government too. The biggest challenge is to convince the agitating farmers to come and speak with us, we will try our level best," he added.
Farmers have been protesting since November last year at Delhi's borders to demand the scrapping of three contentious farm laws, which they say will hurt their livelihoods. The Supreme Court had on January 12 suspended the pro-reforms farm laws approved by Parliament in September 2020 and also appointed a committee to look into farmers’ grievances over the laws. The court had named economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Kumar Joshi and farm activists Bhupinder Singh Mann and Ghanwat as members of the panel. Mann opted out of the committee a day later, citing the “interests of farmers”.
Ghanwat, a member of the now three-member panel, had told HT on Monday that the committee will start deliberations on Tuesday, which will include framing of issues before the committee. “In our first meeting, we will take note of our terms of reference and chalk out processes we will follow,” Ghanwat said. He said it was up to the Supreme Court to appoint a member in place of Mann, who has recused himself but the committee’s work would continue.
Ghanwat has said the committee will examine the three farm laws and draw up a list of stakeholders for consultations, including farm unions, representatives of agribusinesses, scholars, scientists and even the government. “Our basic terms of reference are to look into the laws and consult stakeholders with the objective of addressing grievances of farmers,” Ghanwat, who heads the Shetkari Sangathan, a farm organisation from Maharashtra that advocates pro-technology and pro-reform agricultural policies, had said.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farm unions leading protests against the laws, has however said its members would not appear before the committee. Farm unions have also said that all members of the top court-appointed committee had previously publicly praised the laws that farmers want to be scrapped.
The agriculturists have been protesting against the Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Another spell of scattered to widespread rain with thunderstorm and snowfall is most likely during March 11-13th, as per the weather department.
- The Women's Reservation Bill is the pending bill in the Parliament that seeks amendment in the Constitution of India to reserve one-third of all seats in the Lok Sabha and in all state legislatures for women.