Ahead of the eighth round of talks between farmers’ union leaders and representatives of the government over the three controversial farm laws passed in September, Union minister of state for agriculture Kailash Choudhury hoped for a breakthrough in the impasse.
“I am hopeful that a resolution will be reached at Friday’s meeting. We could have ended the deadlock by now had the protesting farmer unions discussed the issues raised at the first meeting.” There was no demand for a repeal of the three farm laws at the first meeting, he added.
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Choudhury reiterated the centre’s stand that the laws are in interest of the farmers. These legislations are just a beginning, he said, and added that the unions are agitating against the laws under the “influence of arhtiyas (commission agents)”. “Next, the Pesticide (Management) Bill and the Seed Bill will come. At that time too, farmers can be misguided,” he said.
The eighth round of talks will take place between Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Parkash and the 40 protesting farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan at 2pm on Friday. Tomar is likely to call on Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the issue ahead of the talks, sources told news agency PTI.
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While the government has said it will consider making changes to the laws but won’t repeal them, farmers have demanded that they be revoked completely. Both sides have said they won’t budge from their positions.
These laws are Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
(with agency inputs)