India govt sticks to farm laws, suggests panel to discuss farmers’ demands
NEW DELHI, Dec 30: Firm on backing the contentious farm laws, the government has offered to form a committee to look into farmers' demands, sources told NDTV today. Sources said the government also explained to the farmers that the process of withdrawing laws is a long one, as much as making them.
In other areas like electricity amendment bill and penal provisions for stubble burning, it was ready to make concessions. The 41 farmers' groups attending the meet will respond after discussions. A committee comprising representatives from all stakeholders -- farmers' associations and government nominees -- was what the Supreme Court had ordered, telling the government that its negotiations were bound to fail. A committee can be formed to discuss the demands and issues related to the three agricultural laws, sources said. The government gave detailed information about the laws and said there is a long process of making and withdrawing laws, a source added.
The farmers had gone to the meeting with the idea of flagging alleged frauds being committed by traders in Madhya Pradesh. The farmers entering contract farming deals with corporates have become victims of fraud, with a ? lakh cheque for 22 farmers bouncing in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh.
"After new farm laws were implemented in Uttar Pradesh, prices of crops have fallen by 50 per cent. Crops are being bought at below MSP. Paddy is being sold at ? 800 per quintal. We will raise these issues in the meeting," Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait told reporters before entering the meeting venue.
"We will not leave Delhi till our demands are met. We will celebrate New year at the borders" Mr Tikait said. The farmers have claimed that they have come equipped for a very long stay, six months or more. Ahead of the meeting, Union minister Som Prakash, who is part of the three-member team conducting the negotiations, said it would be "decisive" and the government wants them to "celebrate New Year at their homes". -NDTV