March 18, 2021 11:02:34 pm
The committee appointed by the Supreme Court to study the three new agriculture laws is likely to submit its report by March 21. Sources close to the committee said on Thursday that the draft report has been sent for printing and will be submitted as per schedule.
The three-member committee, initially comprising Bhupinder Singh Mann, president, Bharatiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee, Anil Ghanwat, president, Shetkari Sanghtana, Pramod Joshi, agricultural economist and Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, was formed after the apex court stayed the implementation of the three farm laws.
The committee was given two months to study the laws and consult all stakeholders. Mann had resigned shortly afterwards, leaving the three members to continue the work. The committee has been working out of the Pusa campus of Indian Agricultural Research Institute.
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Most the committee’s hearings were held online with suggestions and opinions invited from the general public also, which have been incorporated in the report. The committee is learned to have spoken to 73 farmers organisations and processors organisations like oil expellers and daal millers so far.
The passage of the farm laws triggered strong protests, especially by farmers in Punjab and Haryana. Groups of farmers have been protesting near the Delhi border for more than 100 days against the new laws. Some farmer groups and leaders in other states, including former MP Raju Shetti, Raghunath Patil and Manikrao Kadam in Maharashtra, among others, have supported the protests.
The protesters claim that the new laws will make them vulnerable to price fluctuations and have accused the government of trying to ease out of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime. The central government has denied these claims and said the laws will benefit farmers.
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