Farmers’ Protest: Centre says it is hopeful of resolving issues with farmers before 8th round of talks

demands, at Devidaspura in Amritsar district, Monday, March 04, 2019. (PTI Photo)(PTI3_4_2019_000171B)

New Delhi: Amid the farmers warning of intensifying protests, the union government said that they are hopeful of resolving issues with farmers before the 8th round of talks between farm union leaders and representatives of the government over the three controversial farm laws passed in September.

Kailash Choudhury, Union minister of state for agriculture told Hindustan Times (HT), “I am hopeful that a resolution will be reached at Friday’s meeting. We could have ended the deadlock by now had the protesting farmer unions discussed the issues raised at the first meeting. There was no demand for a repeal of the three farm laws at the first meeting.”

He backs the union government stands that the laws are in the benefits to farmers. He said these legislations are just a beginning. He said that the unions are protesting against the laws under the “‘influence of artists (commission agents)”, reported HT. “Next, the Pesticide (Management) Bill and the Seed Bill will come. At that time too, farmers can be misguided,” he said.

The eighth round of talks begins between Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal, and Som Parkash and the 40 protesting farmer unions leaders at the Vigyan Bhawan at 2 pm on Friday. Tomar is likely to call on Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the issue ahead of the talks, sources told news agency PTI.

While the union government has said it is ready to make amendments but won’t repeal them. However, protesting farmers have demanded that they should be removed completely.

These laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.