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No point continuing farmers’ protest: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

“They should respect the announcement made by the Prime Minister and show a big heart and should ensure that they return to their homes,” Tomar told ANI.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 27, 2021 3:30:14 pm
Farmers gather at Singhu Border on Friday to mark the one year anniversary of the protests. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

Observing that there is no point in continuing the farmers’ protest after the announcement of the repeal of three farm laws, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Saturday urged the protestors to end their agitation and return to their homes.

Tomar also said that with the announcement of a committee, farmers’ demand on MSP stands fulfilled.

“They should respect the announcement made by the Prime Minister and show a big heart and should ensure that they return to their homes,” Tomar told ANI.

Tomar’s statement came a day after the farmers’ protests at the borders of Delhi completed a year.

On November 19, the Prime Minister has announced the government’s intention to repeal the three farm laws — Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

On November 24, the Union government approved a draft bill to repeal the acts. The government has also listed the farm laws repeal bill along with new bills to be introduced during the Winter Session of Parliament beginning November 29.

Notwithstanding the government’s intention of repealing the three farm laws, the protesting farmers’ unions have presented a set of demands to the Centre and have told them that until they are fulfilled, the agitation will continue. These demands include legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP), withdrawal of cases registered against farmers during the farm agitation and compensation to the family members of the farmers who died during the agitation.

On the farm unions’ demand for legal guarantee of MSP, Tomar said the Prime Minister has announced to constitute a committee to deliberate on the issues of crop diversification, zero-budget farming and making the MSP system more transparent and effective. “This committee will also have representatives from the farmers’ side,” Tomar said.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of the farm unions protesting against three fam laws, had recently written a letter to the Prime Minister demanding legal guarantee of the MSP.

“Minimum Support Price based on the comprehensive cost of production (C2+50%) should be made a legal entitlement of all farmers for all agricultural produce, so that every farmer of the country can be guaranteed at least the MSP announced by the government for their entire crop. (The Committee formed under your Chairpersonship had made this recommendation to the then Prime Minister in 2011 and your government had also announced this in Parliament),” the SKM said in the letter dated November 21.

As of now, the government announces MSP for 22 major agricultural commodities each year in both the crop seasons after taking into account the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

On the farmers demand of withdrawal of cases against farmers, Tomar said, “As far as cases registered during the protest are concerned, it comes under the jurisdiction of state governments and they will take a decision on the basis of the severity of the cases. The issue of compensation too comes under state governments.”

Tomar said that the farmer organisations had demanded to decriminalise stubble burning by farmers. The government of India has accepted this demand as well, he said.

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