New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) The Central government on Wednesday agreed to farmers’ demands giving its nod on key issues raised by them, including amendments in the three contentious farms laws that were the first and biggest issue driving the ongoing farmers’ protest.
The government communicated its stand through a written draft proposal to the farmers in which it agreed to two main amendments regarding the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) but rejected their demand to repeal three farm laws enacted in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament– a move to break the impasse which has been going on for the last 14 days on the national capital’s borders with thousands of farmers sitting on roads crippling the supply chain.
In the proposal, the Centre has agreed to a written Minimum Support Price (MSP) assurance and uniform tax for private market yard and APMC — a marketing board established by state governments to ensure that farmers are safeguarded from exploitation by large retailers, as well as ensuring the farm to retail price does not touch excessively high levels.
There will be a provision for registration for private traders dealing in trade, the proposal says.
On the issue of scrapping farm laws, the government said it is ready to consider the provisions of the laws on which the farmers have raised objections.
On the issue regarding registration of traders, the government has given assurance to frame new rules under which state governments will be given powers to come up with new rules for the welfare of farmers.
Clearing the apprehension among farmers that their fields will be attached, the government ensured not to take any such action. The government’s proposal clarified that the provisions in the new laws are very clear and it will release them and publicise them in a clearer manner if there is any confusion on the issue.
The government cleared the misconception on the APMC Act that farmers will be caught in the clutches of private mandis and mandis’ established by mandi samiti will weaken. The government proposed an amendment in which there will be a provision that state governments can impose the registration rule for private mandis. There will also be a provision that the state governments ensure similar rate of “cess fee” in private as well as APMC mandis.
On the issue that big industrialists will take over farmers’ land and the farmer will be landless, the government’s proposal said it is already clear in the new law that neither can any loan be availed by the buyer on the structure to be built on the farmer’s land nor such can such as structure be held hostage by him.
On the issue that there is no system of registration on agricultural contracts, the government said if the trader is not registered, he has to file a copy within 30 days regarding the deal with the farmers.
The government also said that those approaching the civil courts would now be allowed. Earlier, farmers had sought a rollback of this law.
On the Electricity Amendment Act 2020, the government has assured that the Act would not be implemented and the earlier process would be maintained as status quo.
On the farmers demand’ to take back the law on stubble burning, the government said it will come up with a proper arrangement on the subject.
The proposal was sent to the farmers after their meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah last night remained inconclusive. Five rounds of government-farmer talks held so far have also been inconclusive due to both sides staying adamant on their issues.