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Farm laws: Centre, farmers’ unions leaders begin eighth round of talks – india news

The Centre and the representatives of agitating farmers’ unions on Friday began the eighth round of talks to resolve farmers’ concerns regarding the new farm laws. The meeting is currently underway as Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal reached Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.

Before the meeting, both farmers’ union leaders and Union agriculture minister Tomar on Friday expressed hope that a solution to the issues will be found. “I am hopeful that talks will be held in a positive atmosphere and a solution will be found. During discussions, each side has to take steps to reach a solution,” Tomar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar also held an hour-long meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday before reaching Vigyan Bhavan, news agency PTI reported.

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Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said that farmers’ leaders are hoping that both parties will reach a resolution. “We going for talks with the hope that there will be a resolution today,” Tikait said.

The farmers have warned the government that if the talks fail then they will take out tractor marches towards Delhi. The farmers also plan to take out a tractor march on January 26. Farmer leader Hannan Mollah said that he is ready for any eventuality as the government is not ready to repeal the laws. “The minister yesterday categorically declared that repeal of farm laws was not accepted. I don’t know what will happen during the discussions today. Anyway, we hope for the best and (are) prepare(d) for the worst,” Mollah was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Friday.

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The government continues to claim that the new laws would increase incomes of farmers and introduce a level-playing field in the agriculture sector. Government has also highlighted that farmers can now sell their produce 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 as well.

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Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other northern states have been protesting at Delhi’s borders for the last 45 days demanding the rollback of the 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. The farmers say that despite government assurances they fear that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will be affected. They have also demanded a total rollback of the laws as they fear corporate farming will affect their earnings.

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