Indian government proposes to suspend farm laws for 1.5 years

Chennai: The government on Wednesday proposed to suspend the three controversial farm laws for one and a half years and set up a committee comprising farmer union leaders and government representatives.

However, the farmer leaders did not immediately accept the proposal and said a final decision will be taken after internal consultations today, even as the next round of talks is scheduled for 22 January.

The laws have already been stayed till further orders by the Supreme Court, which has formed a committee to resolve the deadlock. The committee, which had its first meeting on Tuesday and will begin its consultations with various stakeholders on Thursday, has been asked to give its report in two months.

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, to which the government representatives said they will look into the matter.

During Wednesday’s talks, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) general secretary Yudhvir Singh said, “The stalemate is continuing over the three laws and I don’t think any solution will emerge from today’s meeting. Both sides are adamant on their position.”

He said the government is insisting on first discussing the three laws and wants to take up the MSP (Minimum Support Price) matter later.

Another farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said, “The government is not ready to repeal the three laws and farmers are not ready for amendments. It doesn’t want to discuss MSP. The government offered to carry out some amendments, but farmer leaders maintained they do not want anything less than a complete repeal of the laws,” Tikait said.

In the last round of talks, the government had asked protesting farmers to prepare a concrete proposal about their objections and suggestions on the three farm laws for further discussion at their next meeting to end the long-running protest. But, unions stuck to their main demand of a complete repeal of the three Acts.

 

NT Bureau