After the 10th round of talks between the union government and the farmer organisations protesting against the new farm laws, a resolution seems to be arriving. The government has proposed to suspend the laws for one or one and a half years, in hope that the farmers from Punjab will end the protest they are holding on the Delhi border.
After the end of the meeting today, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the govt has said that it is ready to put on hold the farm laws for one or one and half year. He also informed that the farmer unions have taken this proposal ‘very seriously’. The left backed farmer unions have said that they will discuss the offer among themselves tomorrow, and inform their decision in the next round of meeting scheduled on 22nd January.
“I feel that talks are progressing in the right direction and there is a possibility of finding a resolution on Jan 22”, minister Tomar told media after the meeting.
The Centre has proposed to submit an affidavit in Supreme Court for suspending the three laws for a mutually-agreed period. The govt has also proposed to form a committee to discuss various aspects on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the three farm laws.
In a press release, the govt said that in all the meetings no discussion has taken place on the content of the three farms laws that the unions want repealed. The minister said that if the unions have any complaint against the laws or want to give any suggestions on them they can submit the same with the ministry. He said that the issue can be resolved by addressing the specific problems with the laws they may have instead of repealing them.
In the past meeting, no discussion took place on alternate solutions other than the demand to repeal that laws, and that’s why no resolution could be arrived at after those meetings. The govt is trying to work out alternatives from the beginning, the press release said.
Responding to the rumour that the new farm laws allow grabbing of farmland, the minister reiterated that nobody has the power to grab farmers’ land in the presence of these laws.
In an attempt to end the farmer protests during the shivering winter, the govt has proposed that the implementation of the farm laws can be suspended for 1 to 1.5 years. During this period, representatives of the farmers and the govt can discuss on the farmers issues in detail to arrive at a proper solution.
Farmers already reject the proposal
However, although the farmer unions have said that they will discuss the govt’s proposal tomorrow, it appears that the protestors already continuing with their hard stand on the issue. One farmer leader said that farmers have said that there is no point in suspending laws and made it clear that they only want the repeal of the laws.
It is notable that the Supreme Court has already stayed the implementation of the farm laws in view of the protests, but the unions were not satisfied with that and continued demand for repeal of the laws. The farmers have also refused to participate in discussions on the issue with the committee appointed by the apex court.