Farmers leaders of various organisations on Tuesday suggested, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the state government to set up agriculture courts to resolve farmers’ issues, enact more laws to protect farmers and make provisions to ensure no one can buy farm produce below the minimum support price (MSP), among others.
Thackeray held a meeting with farmers’ leaders to hear their views on the recently passed three farms Bills and to decide the state government’s policy on these Bills. The meeting was organised a week after the state government ordered a stay on the implementation of the Bills in the state and set up a cabinet sub-committee on these bills.
Ajit Nawale, state general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha, told the government to ensure farm produce is not bought below MSP and the government cannot relinquish its responsibility by hiding behind the central laws. “The idea of setting up agriculture courts, on the lines of industrial courts, was raised in the meeting. Farmers’ issues such as bogus seeds, companies cheating farmers, non-payment, payment below MSP can be taken up in the agriculture courts,” said Nawale.
Other suggestions by farmers’ leaders include strengthening of market committees, ensuring farmers get a fair price, MSP protection should not be taken away etc.
Thackeray said all parties should come together for farmers’ issues keeping aside political differences. “We are not against the Union government but do not want to blindly support these laws. It is important to address the flaws in the law. There was a need to take farmers’ organisations into confidence and hold discussions with them on the farm Bills,” said Thackeray.
Thackeray said a draft policy will be prepared considering the suggestions given by the farmers’ leaders and then a decision will be taken on it.
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