Farmers raise the stakes, nix government offer, demand a higher MSP | India News
The unions wrote to the Ministry of Agriculture saying they were ready for talks only if the Center presented a “concrete proposal” without repeating the proposed changes to the agricultural laws offered previously.
The unions reiterated the demand for a legal guarantee for the minimum subsistence price (MSP), saying that this should be on the agenda and drew attention to the recommendation of the National Commission of Farmers on the price of support on a cost of production more high.
The demand for a revised acquisition price is significant, as it involves the formula C2 plus 50% that includes imputed rent and interest on own land and equity. According to the current formula, the actual paid cost of inputs and the imputed value of family labor are taken into consideration in arriving at a “cost plus 50%” calculation. While a legal guarantee for MSP has been part of the lawsuit, the unions want this to be on the agenda along with repeal of the laws for talks to resume.
They also said that the Center did not mention the Essential Products Law and there was no clarity in the 2020 Electricity Law.
“Farmers want to repeal the laws. Half amendments are not acceptable, ”said Yogendra Yadav, Leader from Swaraj India. This, the group of agricultural leaders said, became clear during the meeting with the Union ministers on December 5, and then again when the Center sent out draft proposals on December 9. The farmers said that the Union government had to make a decision. and submit a “concrete proposal”.
Although the unions, who oppose the farm laws, have been demanding a legal guarantee for MSP for a long time, their six-point letter made it more punctual with farm leaders emphasizing, “Hame daan nahin, daam chahiye (we don’t want charity , we want a remunerative price of the products “.
“We want to assure you that the protesting farmers and unions are ready to dialogue with the government and we are waiting for the government to carry the discussion forward with an open mind and clear intention,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal in the letter on behalf of the group of 40 unions.
Responding to the Ministry’s proposals of December 9 and his follow-up letter of December 20, Pal said: “We urge you to send us concrete proposals, without repeating the amendments already rejected, so that an agenda can be made to resume the discussion ASAP. as possible.”
The letter is an indication that the unions are unwilling to resume negotiations unless in their demand for repeal of the farm laws, even as the Center has made clear that the laws are part of broader reforms to provide for farmers market options, access to technology and encourage entrepreneurship.
The unions objected to statements by certain ministers about separatists and Maoist elements infiltrating the protests with their own design. The letter read: “You are dealing with protesting farmers in a way as if they are not aggrieved citizens, but political rivals. Farmers would be forced to further escalate their agitation for their survival if the government continues to treat them in this way. ”
Rather than repeal, the ministry had proposed amendments on December 9 to further strengthen farm laws. The amendments included provisions for registration of private traders and private market areas outside of regulated ‘mandis’, equal taxes / fees for APMC mandis and private markets to maintain parity with government controlled ‘mandis’, providing an alternative to civil courts for the resolution of disputes. and registration of contracts by states.
In addition, the government agreed to provide a “written guarantee” to continue with the existing MSP procurement regime. On the issue of sanctioning farmers for stubble burning under the new ordinance on air quality management in Delhi-NCR, the ministry assured farmers’ unions that the Center would address the concerns appropriately.
However, the farmers’ unions had rejected all these amendments and guarantees on December 9, which caused the breakdown of the discussion that had taken place since October 13. The union’s letter on Wednesday expressed its rejection of those amendments in writing while seeking a “concrete proposal” to resume talks if the government accepted its central demand.
When asked to explain the “concrete proposal”, Yogendra Yadav said: “The farmers want the repeal of the laws and they also want a legal guarantee for the MSP as recommended by the National Commission of Farmers. We don’t want the government to give us new agricultural laws. We want a remunerative price for our products ”.
Noting the MSP issue as another key demand, Madhya Pradesh farmer leader Shiv Kumar Sharma Kakkaji said: “The issue could not be discussed in the last 5-6 rounds of talks. This is an important topic and a discussion should also be held on this. ”