After a meeting was held between farmer representatives and the Home Minister Amit Shah yesterday, the 6th round of talks that were to be held today has been cancelled, reportedly after the farmer leaders refused to participate. The Home Minister had met a group of union leaders including Hannan Mollah of All India Kisan Sabha and Rakesh Tikait of Bharatiya Kisan Union but the meeting failed to break the deadlock.
The Home Minister had offered to amend some of the provisions of the farmer laws in writing but some of the farm representatives had reportedly refused to attend the 6th round of talks saying that they would take further action after reading government’s written proposal. The government has agreed to make specific amendments in the farm laws but the farmers are demanding a total repeal of all the three laws.
The government agreed to make amendments but ‘farmer’ representatives want laws to be repealed
On December 5, Agriculture Minister Narender Singh Tomar had assured the 40 farmers union which are protesting against the farm laws that the government was prepared to consider ways to strengthen the APMC mandis, create a level-playing field with proposed private markets and provide a provision for approaching higher courts for dispute resolution. The government had also asserted that procurement at MSP will continue. But the agitating farmer union leaders were bent upon getting the laws scrapped. However, some progressive farmers from Haryana had submitted a memorandum to the government on December 7 demanding that the government should consider amendments instead of repealing the laws.
The government is expected to send written proposals to farmer union leaders today for consideration. Hannan Mollah said that they will only consider the proposal if is about repealing the laws and the their stand was clear on amendments. “They (government) said they will send something in writing today. We have told them that if it is in writing, we will look into it. We have our meeting today. A broader committee will discuss it. It the writing is on amendment, our position is very clear. It it’s on repeal of the Bill, only then can we take note of it and consider. That meeting (today’s meeting with Centre) is cancelled. If the letter comes and we consider it positive, meeting can be held tomorrow”, said Mollah.
Government proposal to farmers
- MSP will not end, the government will continue with MSP.
- There will be a major change in the APMC Act.
- Private players will have to register.
- Government will provide farmers the right to approach court in contract farming. Fast track courts will be formed for that purpose.
- Approval to tax private players.
The proposal is likely to be considered by farmer representatives in a meeting fixed for noon today. Meanwhile, the farmers are continuing with their agitation against the farm laws.