Farm talks fail yet again, Union government in no mood to repeal controversial laws

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

New Delhi: Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash participated in the 7th round of talks with the representatives of 41 Farmers’ Unions at Vigyan Bhawan, on Monday.

Narendra Singh Tomar said that keeping in mind the discussions during the previous meeting the government is committed to finding solutions to farmers’ issues with an open mind. Both sides need to take steps forward to find a solution.

The Minister said that keeping in mind the welfare of the farmer’s talks regarding Farm Acts will be held with all farmers union representatives from different States. Shri Tomar also said that clause-wise discussion on Farm Acts can be carried forward to resolve contentious issues.

In the meeting, both sides expressed their opinions and have decided to meet again on 8th January 2021.

“We requested the unions to review the laws clause by clause but the unions were steadfast in their demand for repeal. As such, we could not arrive at any decision but both sides agreed to meet again on January 8,” Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters after the meet.

Farm union leaders said that they are going to intensify their protest if the central government doesn’t change its stand. “The government is saying 50% of the demands have been met. For us, 85% of the demands are left. The agitation will become more intense now,” Hindustan Times quoted Darshan Pal, a senior leader of the agitation as saying.

The central government precluded a choice to rescind the three farm laws, asking farm union leaders to call attention to what they thought about objectionable in the legislation, a farm leader said, resulting in a standoff. It also wanted to discuss the demand for a law guaranteeing assured prices for 23 farm commodities, known as minimum support prices, or MSP.

Kavitha Kuruganti, a farm leader said, “The government in multiple ways wanted us to discuss the laws. We said we want a repeal. The ministers said they need to consult within the government for any possible repeal of the laws. There was no discussion on MSP.”

The government representative, Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal, and Som Prakash, told farm leaders that the government will review any clause farmers have a problem with.

Tomar said he stays confident of a solution in the following meeting on January 8, yet declared that efforts should be produced using the two sides for an answer for being reached. However, farm leaders asserted that it was the government’s ego problem that was coming in the method of settling the issues.