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Talks between farmers and government today; 2 key demands on the table


The Center and agricultural unions protesting against a set of laws aimed at opening agricultural markets will hold their seventh round of negotiations on Monday that could shape the outcome of the lengthy dialogue process. Two of the biggest demands from farmers will be on the agenda on Monday.

Monday’s talks are scheduled to address farmers’ demand to repeal three farm laws they say will harm their livelihoods and a law guaranteeing minimum support prices for farm products.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the platform for agricultural unions, toughened its position and said on Saturday that thousands of farmers will enter the capital on their tractors for their own Republic Day parade if their demands are not met by January 26. .

Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash will lead the government side, while 40 leaders of the agricultural union will represent farmers in the talks.

The widely anticipated sixth round of talks on Dec. 30 made some headway in the confrontation between the Union government and protesting agricultural unions, with the Center agreeing to spare farmers from heavy fines for burning crop residues. , according to the provisions of an ordinance against pollution and continue with the current mechanism for granting subsidized energy for agricultural use.

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The two main demands for the repeal of three new agricultural laws and a legal guarantee of minimum support prices were postponed until January 4.

In talks on December 30, the government offered to form a five-member panel to examine farm laws and asked farm leaders to suggest alternatives to repealing the laws, which were rejected by farmers.

Farm unions have stood firm in their demand that the government remove the three new farm laws passed by Parliament in September and become new legislation that ensures that all farm products are purchased at guaranteed rates set by the federal government. .

The agricultural unions have launched one of the largest strikes in decades to demand that the Center repeal the three contentious laws.

Basically, the laws change the way Indian farmers do business by creating free markets, as opposed to a decades-old network of government markets, which allow traders to store essential commodities for future sales and establish a national framework. for contract farming.

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These laws are the Agricultural Products Trade and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Guarantee and the Agricultural Services Act of 2020 and the Essential Products (Amendment) Act. 2020.

“The success of tomorrow’s talks will depend entirely on the repeal of these three agricultural laws,” said Avik Saha, secretary of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a major farmers’ protest platform.

Saha said there has been a lot of speculation about the procedures to repeal the laws. “AIKSCC clarifies that it can be done by means of an Ordinance followed by a parliamentary repeal and the Constitution provides that the government and Parliament issue and repeal laws. They are not very time consuming or complicated. “

A government official, who requested anonymity, said the Center “will accept each and every objection and arrest of the farmers.” “I don’t want to speculate on anything now,” he said.

Analysts say they do not expect all the issues to be finalized during Monday’s talks. “Both lawsuits are complicated. It is unlikely that both can be resolved in one round. The government can come up with a formula to guarantee guaranteed prices for farmers based solely on possibilities, ”said Ramesh Kavi, former faculty member of Dharwad Agricultural University.

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The head of Congress, Sonia Gandhi, criticized the Narendra Modi government on Sunday for not paying attention to farmers’ demands to repeal the three laws.

“In this stinging cold and rain, our farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi for 39 days. Their plight is a concern for all citizens and for me, ”Gandhi said in a statement.

“More than 50 farmers have lost their lives due to the harsh attitude of the government towards the protests. Some have even committed suicide. His decision has not moved the Modi government or any of his ministers, nor has they uttered a word of comfort. I offer my tribute to the deceased and my prayers and strength to their families ”.

Hindustan Times