Farm laws: the Center, farmers’ union leaders begin eighth round of talks
The Center and representatives of the agitated farmers ‘unions began the eighth round of talks on Friday to resolve farmers’ concerns regarding the new farm laws. The meeting is currently underway when Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal arrived at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.
Before the meeting, both farmers’ union leaders and the union’s agriculture minister, Tomar, on Friday expressed their hope that a solution to the problems would be found. “I am hopeful that the talks will take place in a positive atmosphere and a solution will be found. During the discussions, each party must take steps to reach a solution, ”Tomar was quoted as saying by the ANI news agency.
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also held an hour-long meeting with Union Interior Minister Amit Shah on Friday before arriving in Vigyan Bhavan, the PTI news agency reported.
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Rakesh Tikait from the Bharatiya Kisan Union said that farmers’ leaders hope both sides will reach a resolution. “We are going to enter into talks in the hope that there will be a resolution today,” Tikait said.
Farmers have warned the government that if the talks fail, they will hold tractor marches to Delhi. Farmers also plan to hold a tractor march on January 26. Peasant leader Hannan Mollah said he is ready for any eventuality as the government is not ready to repeal the laws. “The minister declared yesterday categorically that the repeal of the agricultural laws was not accepted. I don’t know what will happen during today’s discussions. Anyway, we hope for the best and (we) are prepared (d) for the worst, ”Mollah was quoted as saying by the ANI news agency on Friday.
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The government continues to claim that the new laws would increase farmers’ incomes and introduce a level playing field in the agricultural sector. The government has also highlighted that farmers can now sell their products anywhere in the country. Several BJP leaders have also said that these same reforms were promised by other political parties in their previous election manifestos.
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Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other northern states have been protesting on the borders of Delhi for the past 45 days demanding the repeal of the Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Act of Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Guarantee and Agricultural Services Act of 2020 and the Essential Products (Amendment) Act of 2020. Farmers say that, despite government guarantees, they fear that the Price system Minimum Support (MSP) is affected. They have also demanded a total repeal of the laws, as they fear that corporate farming will affect their profits.