The all-important meeting between the Union Government and agitating farmers ended without any conclusive agreement at the end of the marathon meeting on December 3, Thursday. There was, however, a glimmer of hope for some breakthrough in the next meeting scheduled on December 5, 2020.
The Union Government has given nod to reconsider some of the contentious provisions of the three farming laws. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed the farmers to call off the agitation so as the citizens don’t suffer anymore due to constant disruption in essential services and transportation on major national highways. Union Minister also promised that MSP will continue and the government will also look into the demand for registration of traders.
The meeting marked 40 leaders from various farmer unions, whose members are camping at Singhu border. Their major concern is that the new farming laws herald the ending of minimum support prices for crops. Farmers also fear that they might be left vulnerable and exposed to the open market and big companies may take over their land through the route of contract farming.
To ensure the peace of mind of farmers, Union Government has also promised of strengthening the APMC and to make sure that both Government and Private Mandis, about which the laws have provisioned, are taxed equally. Regarding dispute redressing, farmers feel that Sub-Divisional Magistrate aren’t sufficient and they want the right to take the dispute into higher courts, which the Union Government promised of giving in a consideration.
There is a provision to trade on the basis of PAN card, but the farmers objected to it, saying PAN cards are very easy to get. To address this concern, the Government assured them that each trader will be registered before trading.
Despite the promise of reconsidering several of the contentious provisions, some farmer leaders remained adamant on their demand of total withdrawal of the new farm laws, which the Union Government wasn’t ready to accept.