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Monday, December 06, 2021

Repeal a ‘political decision,’ ‘unfortunate for farmers’: Member of SC-monitored panel

“This is a very unfortunate decision for the farmers of India and the country. The farm laws had given some market freedom to the farmers and the agriculture produce marketing,” Anil Ghanwat said.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: November 20, 2021 8:19:14 am
Shetkari Sanghatana to put up show of support for farm Bills, seek more 'freedom' for agri sectorShetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat (File)

The Prime Minister’s decision to repeal the three farm laws is “unfortunate” for the farmers, said Anil Ghanwat, president, Shetkari Sangathana, and one of the members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm laws, on Friday, even as he called it a “political decision”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Ghanwat said, “This is a very unfortunate decision for the farmers of India and the country. The farm laws had given some market freedom to the farmers and the agriculture produce marketing.”

“This was the first time in the history that Indian farmers were given some freedom. The new farm laws have been repealed…the old laws exploited the farmers, had a lot of restrictions on farmers, prices of agriculture produce were pulled down using these weapons such as export ban, stock limits and many other restrictions on marketing. The farmers who have been agitating were misguided by leaders saying that APMC will go; MSP will go; and your lands will be taken away by companies. This is all false,” Ghanwat said.

He said, “The government should have gone to the farmers and told them the reality. The government did not do its job properly so the agitation was rising. Now the situation is out of control. This decision is a political decision. The government wants to win in all the states which have elections in the coming months. So, this is a political decision and it is not in the favour of farmers and not in the favour of the country.”

Ghanwat is one of the three members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee that was constituted by the apex court on January 12, 2021, to deliberate on the contentious farm laws. Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and Former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices and Dr Parmod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute, are the other two members. Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President, Bharatiya Kisan Union, had recused himself from the committee.

The committee submitted its report earlier this year but it has not been made public yet. On September 7 this year, Ghanwat wrote to the Chief Justice of India, requesting him to release the report in public domain and forward it to the Centre. He said, “As a member of the Committee, I am pained that the issue raised by the farmers isn’t yet resolved and the agitation is continuing. I feel that the report has not been given any attention by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”

“I humbly plead to the Hon’ble Supreme Court to kindly release the report for implementation of its recommendations for peaceful resolution of the stalemate to the farmers’ satisfaction at the earliest,” he said in the letter.

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