Govt to file review petition against NGT ban on more than 10-yr old diesel vehicles

New Delhi, Oct 2 (PTI) The government Tuesday announced it will soon file a review petition against the National Green Tribunal's order to ban diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old and take several other measures to pacify agitating farmers and address their concerns. The Centre also assured farmers that it would fix the minimum support prices (MSP) of rabi (winter-sown) crops like wheat at least 1.5 times of the production cost. It would also try to restrict imports of agri items that are produced abundant in the country. These decisions were taken at a meeting held here under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The meeting was held against the backdrop of farmers' protest organised by Bharatiya Kisan Union.The Centre would also approach the GST Council to put agri related goods in the 5 per cent slab, an official statement said."The government will soon file a review petition against the NGT's order to ban diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old," it said. The government also decided to take other steps to address problems of farmers. The other steps include inclusion of a farmers' representative in the sub-group of chief ministers on coordination between the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and agriculture; advisory would be issued to states for proper procurement of agri produce; and banning of imports of agri products adequately produced in India. On the issue of proper implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), a committee will be constituted under the Minister of State for Agriculture G S Shekhawat. The committee would look at the implementation issues of PMFBY and Kisan Credit card scheme in consultation with farmer associations. Further it was decided that crop damage due to stray and wild animals would be included in the PMFBY on pilot basis and then could be implemented across the districts. Procurement period would also be extended to 90 days. The main demands of the agitating farmers include implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report, removing ban on the use of tractors which are more than 10 years old, clearing out pending payments of sugarcane purchase, increased price of sugar supplied and minimum support prices. Farmers stayed put on the Delhi-UP border in Ghaziabad and other places, where they were stopped by the police. The protest call has been given by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) over demands ranging from farm loan waiver to cut in fuel prices. PTI RR MJH MRMR