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Farmers' protests: Govt says it's ready to discuss 'all issues'

BusinessToday.In     December 25, 2020

The Centre has agreed to discuss all the demands put forward by farmers' unions, including the higher minimum support price (MSP) issue and repeal of the controversial laws. The government has assured the farmers that it is also ready to discuss all demands made in the previous rounds of meetings.

The agricultural ministry, in its letter to over 40 farm unions, has said it's ready to discuss all issues of concerns, including the MSP (minimum support price), despite that it has nothing to do with the passing of three agri-marketing bills.

In its third letter to the farmers, the agricultural minister sought information about all the issues the farmers' unions want to discuss. On December 9, the minister wrote the first letter, talking about amendments that could be incorporated in the three farm laws. The second letter was written on December 20 when the minister said the government wants to discuss the issues and kept the doors for talks open.

Also read: Farmers' protests: 'Don't want amendments to laws, only complete repeal,' say unions

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to convey his message to farmers today as he releases the next instalment under PM-KISAN scheme. He will enable the transfer of more than Rs 18,000 crore to more than 9 crore beneficiary farmer families.

During this virtual event, he'll also have a conversation with farmers from six different states. The farmers will share their experiences with PM-KISAN and will also speak on other initiatives taken by the government.

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajashtan are protesting at Delhi borders for around a month now. Despite the Centre assurance to make all the necessary changes in the three farm bills, the farmers have stick to their demand of repealing these laws.

The bills that have become a bone of contention between the farmers and the Centre are the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Farmers believe these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations. However, the government has maintained the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) chief Sheoraj Singh this week wrote a letter in blood to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding the repeal of the three new farm laws.

Also read: US lawmaker urges India to provide security to protesting farmers; MEA calls comment 'ill-informed'

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