India

"Apart From Repeal Of Laws...": Minister On Centre-Farmer Talks' Round 10

The government, the minister said, had sent a proposal to the farmers. (File)

New Delhi:

Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar today said most farmers are in favour of the farm laws and the government will hold the next round of discussion on this on Tuesday.  The farm laws were put on hold by the Supreme Court earlier this week amid a 53-day protest by farmers at the borders of Delhi. Saying it was "extremely disappointed" by the government's handling of the crisis, the court had also formed a committee of agricultural experts to deal with the issue, which has, however, been rejected by the farmers.  

"Most of the farmers and experts are in favour of farm laws. After the Supreme Court's order, the laws can't be implemented," Narendra Tomar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI today.  

"Now we expect that the farmers discuss the laws clause-wise on January 19 and tell the government what they want other than the repeal of the laws," he added, reiterating the government's demands for a clause-by-clause discussion.  

The government, the minister said, had sent a proposal to the farmers "in which we agreed to address their apprehensions regarding mandis, traders' registration and other things".

"The government had also agreed to discuss the laws on stubble burning and electricity "but the farmers' unions only want repeal of the laws," Mr Tomar said, referring to the nine rounds of meeting that have already taken place but remained inconclusive.  The government has agreed to withdraw the penal provisions in the stubble burning ordinance and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2019.

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Before forming the committee last week, the Supreme Court, in an earlier hearing, had said the government's negotiations with farmers will remain ineffective.  

The farmers, however, have rejected the committee, saying their members were already in favour of farm laws and accused the government of engineering the issue.   

Besides, one of the committee members, Bhupinder Singh Mann, has also stepped down, saying he did not wish to "compromise farmers' interests.

The matter is likely to come up before the Supreme Court on Monday when it hears an appeal against the tractor rally of farmers scheduled for the Republic Day.