Govt makes big offer to bring farmers around, proposes to defer laws

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By P.K. Jha
New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS)
The government has proposed to defer the implementation of the farm laws for a year-and-a-half in order to break the deadlock between the government and the farmers on the three controversial laws.
After the tenth round of talks with the farmer leaders, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the government has suggested deferring the laws for one-and-a-half years so that the farmer unions can consider them and resolve the issue by forming a committee with government representatives and farmers.
Apart from Agriculture Minister Tomar, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash were also present in the meeting with farmer leaders.
At the beginning of the meeting, Union minister Tomar congratulated everyone on the 354th birth anniversary of the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. He thanked the peasant organisations for maintaining discipline during the agitation and again urged them to end the agitation. The government said till now there has not been a positive discussion on all the three laws related to agricultural reform and all the aspects of MSP. The government also said that we should look at the farmer movement sensitively and make concerted efforts to end it in terms of inclusiveness in the interests of farmers and the country.
Tomar said, “If organisations have reservations about these laws or you want to suggest something, we are always ready to discuss those points with you.” The Agriculture Minister urged again that apart from repealing the laws, these provisions can be resolved by discussing them point-by-point.
“Due to the lack of discussion on other options in the previous meetings, no meaningful result was achieved, we urge to make the discussion meaningful. Right from the beginning, the government has been trying with an open mind to discuss with the farmers representatives through options. The government is fully committed to upgrading the agriculture sector and enriching the farmers.”
Clarifying the confusion about farmers’ fears of landgrabbing, Tomar stated that “no one has the power to grab farmers’ land in the country under these laws. We are committed to advancing farming and making farmers prosperous. These laws will bring revolutionary changes in the lives of farmers, which will change the direction of the farmers and improve their standard of living.”
Darshan Pal from Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, one of the farmer unions, said, “We will discuss the government’s proposal in detail on January 21 and will convey it to the government in a meeting at Vigyan Bhavan on January 22 at 12 noon. Today’s talks were held in a cordial atmosphere.”

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