No amendment, only repeal of controversial laws, insist farm leaders
NEW DELHI – Farmer leaders have clearly stated that the agitation would continue till the farm laws are repealed, however, the government has softened its stance on some demands of the farmers.
After a seven-hour long meeting on Thursday at Vigyan Bhawan, the representatives of farmer organisation said they don’t want any amendments in the farm laws rather these laws should be withdrawn immediately. In addition to the three farm laws, they have also demanded the removal of heavy penalty on pollution.
Darshanpal, leader of the Krantikari Kisan Union of Punjab, told IANS about the fourth round of meeting held at Vigyan Bhawan. He said that all the farmer leaders were well prepared for the meeting. For the first half an hour, the ministers briefed us about the farm laws and after that we told them about our apprehensions.
Darshanpal said that the government has agreed to make some amendments in the farm laws, remove agriculture from the law to prevent pollution and assured us about the MSP. The government called for a meeting again on December 4, but farmer organisations asked it to do it on December 5 so that we can decide on our strategy on December 4.
He further said that the government has agreed on making amendments in the farm laws and pollution law but we don’t want any amendments. Now we are looking forward to the meeting to be held on December 5.
A farmer leader Harshwinder Singh said, “The ministers asked us about the flaws in the laws. So, we told them that the whole bill is full of flaws. The government informed us that they will meet to think about the demands of the farmers so we also told them that we will also meet to think about the measures government is going to take. We will meet again on December 5 and share the points of our meetings.”
A farmer leader from Punjab Kuldeep Singh said the fourth round of the meeting was inconclusive because the intention of the government was not clear. The government has been stubborn till now. We won’t stop the protest till the anti-farmer laws are repealed.
Govt will consider demands of farmers on APMCs, private markets
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government will consider the demands of the farmers for level playing field between the APMCs and private markets or trade area outside the APMCs and other issues in the farm laws.
He was interacting with reporters after fourth round of talks between the Central government and representatives of farmers’ organisations at Vigyan Bhawan here on Thursday.
He said that the government is committed to protect the APMCs and consider the issues such as market fee, registration of traders so there should be similarity in the APMCs and trade areas outside the APMCs.
Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) laws, 2020 allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of APMCs and state governments are prohibited from levying any market fee or cess outside APMCs. This is the reason, farmers of Punjab are demanding to repeal this law as they fear that APMCs will collapse due to new farm act.
He also assured the farmer leaders that the minimum support price (MSP) will remain and therefore the farmers should not fear that it will go away.