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We are working with farmers to decide the next date for the talks: Minister of Agriculture, Tomar | India News


NEW DELHI: The government is engaging with farmer leaders to decide the next date for the talks, said Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, as unions intensified their agitation against the Center’s three farm laws and observed a fasting day on Monday.
“The meeting will definitely happen. We are committed to the farmers,” Tomar told PTI.
The government is ready to discuss at any time. Peasant leaders have to “decide and transmit” when they are ready for the next meeting, he added.
Tomar is leading the negotiations with 40 farmers’ unions, along with Food Minister Piyush Goyal and State Minister for Commerce and Industries Som Parkash.
The previous five rounds of talks between the Center and the leaders of 40 farmers’ unions have been inconclusive.
The government sent them a draft proposal along with a written guarantee to continue with the minimum support price system (MSP) for their consideration, but the farmers’ unions rejected it and demanded the repeal of the laws.
Earlier in the day, Tomar met with Interior Minister Amit Shah and discussed the way forward to end the deadlock.
Later, the agriculture minister also met with a delegation of farmers led by the All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC) who extended their support for the agricultural laws. This is the fourth group of farmers to support the laws in the past two weeks.
Farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at the Delhi borders against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Act, 2020; the Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Farmers protesting at the Delhi borders observed a one-day fast on Monday, even as the unrest spread to different parts of the country and peasant unions held demonstrations at the district headquarters.
Enacted in September, the three agricultural laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agricultural sector that will eliminate middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, protesting farmers have expressed their fear that the new laws would pave the way to remove the Minimum Livelihood Price safety cushion and wipe out the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of large corporations.

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