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Opinion

Center proposes committee to review farm laws, rules out repeal

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Three Union ministers who held their sixth round of talks with protesting agricultural leaders on Wednesday rejected the demand to repeal the three agricultural laws that growers say will damage their livelihoods. The Center, however, proposed to establish a committee to examine the new agricultural laws.

Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash also discussed the possibility of a law guaranteeing minimum prices for agricultural prices, said a senior farmer representative present at the talks.

The ministers shared meals with farmers during a lunch break after the first round of talks, presenting an image of bonhomie amid difficult negotiations.

In today’s first round of talks, followed by a lunch break, farmers raised their core issue of eliminating three recent laws in favor of reform.

Among their demands, farmers have also demanded a law that establishes fixed minimum prices at the federal level, known as minimum support prices.

“The ministers didn’t say anything about this, but they said they wanted to discuss the demand for a law on MSP,” said Joginder Singh Ugrahan, leader of a faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.

In the second round of talks, which was underway at the time of this report, the government said that a committee could be formed to examine the three laws.

A government official also explained the pros and cons of an MSP law. The government argued that a law that binds the MSP even to private traders, essentially prohibiting the sale of any agricultural product below state-set prices, could cause chaos in the markets.

Tomar said private traders cannot buy at MSP rates if doing so would not be profitable for them.

Discussions continue.

The three farm laws passed in September essentially change the way India’s farmers do business by creating free markets, as opposed to a decades-old network of government markets, allowing traders to stock essential commodities for future. sales and establish a national framework for contracts. farming.

Together, the laws will allow large corporations and global supermarket chains to buy directly from farmers, without going through decades-long regulations.

Farmers say the reforms will allow large corporations to impose prices and exploit them.

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