January 20, 2021 10:24:36 pm
The Centre Wednesday proposed to suspend the three contentious farm laws for up to one-and-a-half years and set up a joint committee to discuss them. Farmer leaders did not immediately accept the proposal, saying they would hold internal consultations first. The next round of meeting has been scheduled for January 22.
“During discussions, we said that govt is ready to put on hold the farm laws for one or one-and-a-half years. I’m happy that farmer unions have taken this very seriously and said they would consider it tomorrow and convey their decision on January 22,” Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said after the meeting.
The three laws have already been stayed by the Supreme Court till further orders and a committee of experts has been formed to resolve the deadlock. The committee has been asked by the apex court to submit its report within two months after consulting all stakeholders.
Following the meeting, Tomar also said that the government had been keen to reach a final decision in today’s meeting itself.
“The government was ready to discuss provisions of the laws with an open mind and a big heart,” Tomar was quoted as saying by PTI.
Responding to media queries on the government’s offer, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said that the farm unions will “deliberate over it”.
“The government proposed to suspend the farm laws for one-and-a-half years. We rejected the proposal but since it has come from the government, we will meet tomorrow and deliberate over it,” he said.
During the meeting, farmer leaders also raised the issue of NIA notices being served to some farmers, alleging it was being done just to harass those supporting the agitation. Government representatives said they will look into the matter.
(Inputs from PTI)
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