The government will form a committee to look into encouraging crop diversification, natural farming, and making minimum support price (MSP) effective and transparent, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Tomar also said that as intimated to the ministry by the Election Commission of India, the committee will be set up after the Assembly elections in the five states are over.
Replying to a starred question in the Upper House, Tomar said, “Sarkaar Pradhaan Mantri-ji kee ghoshana ke prati pratibaddh hai. Yeh kaayavaee mantraalay mein prachalit hai (The government is committed to the announcement made by the Prime Minister. The process is going on in the ministry.”
He stated: “Since (Assembly) elections are going on, we had written to the Election Commission to seek its consent. The EC has replied in this regard — it has said that action should be taken to form the committee after the election process is over.”
Tomar was responding to a supplementary question asked by Samajwadi Party member Sukhram Singh Yadav.
Yadav had asked, “Farmers’ movement has been in discussion not only in the country but even abroad. The government has assured that a committee will be formed on MSP, and this committee will decide on ensuring farmers get justice. I would like to know the composition of that committee and when that committee will give its report.”
Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Kailash Choudhary, initially replied: “As far as the committee is concerned, the Prime Minister had announced on November 19 that we will form a committee which will decide on the farmers’ issues, or the MSP. We have written to the Election Commission regarding the committee. Whatever proposal we receive (from EC), we will take further action.”
“Since elections are going on in several states, the committee will be formed after we get permission from there [EC],” Choudhary said.
As Yadav asked another question on MSP, Tomar subsequently clarified.
Earlier, Yadav had asked the government whether it has formed a committee for providing legal guarantee of MSP for agricultural crops, as assured to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the farmers’ outfit that led the protests against the three farm laws, in December 2021.
In a written reply to this, Tomar had stated, “As per the changing requirements of the country to change the cropping pattern, to make MSP more effective and transparent, and to encourage natural farming, the process of setting up a committee is under process. At present, in view of the Assembly elections in some states, the process of concurrence of the Election Commission for the formation of (the) committee is under progress.”
Announcing the government’s intention to repeal the three farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last November announced that the government will constitute a committee to promote zero budgeting farming and to make MSP more effective and transparent.