Farm laws: Niti member says farmers should be willing to point out deficiencies for resuming talks

Farm laws: Niti member says farmers should be willing to point out deficiencies for resuming talks

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As some sections of farmers continue to protest against the three farm laws, Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand has said that in order to resume talks with the government, there should be “some signal” from the farmers’ leaders on their willingness to point out deficiencies in the legislations rather than just demanding repealing of the laws.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on April 29 had said farmer unions are ready to discuss the three contentious agri laws with the Centre whenever it wants to resume talks, but asserted the discussion would have to be about repealing the legislation.

“I think that statement by Rakesh Tikait is welcome, but at the same time, statements from some leaders came that our demands are same, (we want) repealing of three farm laws.

” So, as long as they stick to repealing those three farm laws, then what kind of talk can be held,” the Niti Aayog Member (Agriculture) told .

He asserted that the government is willing to discuss the three farm laws clause by clause.

“So, there should be some signal from the farmer’s side that they are willing to discuss all matters and they are willing to point out what are the deficiencies of these laws as the government has already asked them that (to point out) whatever is wrong with these laws.

“If there are two things wrong, tell us, if there are five things which you don’t accept, please tell us,” the Niti Aayog member said.

Enacted in September 2020, the three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

“So, I think if farmers unions indicate that we are willing to discuss these farm laws… I think that will be a great statement from farmers’ leader Rakesh Tikait,” Chand noted.

Scores of farmers have been camping at Delhi‘s borders since November last year, demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law be made to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

The government, however, has been maintaining that the laws are pro-farmer.

Several rounds of talks between the agitating farmers and the government have failed to break the deadlock over these contentious laws.

The government last held talks with farmer leaders on January 22. The talks between the two sides came to a halt after a January 26 tractor parade by farmers in Delhi turned violent.

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