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Talks only on repealing new farm laws: Farmers to Centre

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: December 29, 2020 20:59 IST
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Protesting farmer unions Tuesday wrote to the Centre on the talks scheduled between the two sides on Wednesday, saying the discussion will only be on the modalities of repealing the three legislations, giving a legal guarantee on the minimum support price, and on two other issues they proposed earlier this week for a resumption of the dialogue.

IMAGE: Farmers burn copies of farm reform bills during their ongoing agitation at Delhi-Noida border in Noida. Photograph: PTI Photo

The government has invited the protesting farmers for the sixth round of talks on Wednesday.

In its letter on Tuesday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which represents 40 farmer unions, said the modalities for repealing the three contentious laws and a legal guarantee on MSP must be part of the agenda for the talks.

The Morcha further said the agenda of the meeting should also include amendments to be made and notified in the Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020 to exclude farmers from its penal provisions.

Through the letter, the Morcha also formally accepted the government's invitation for the dialogue.

The letter also stated that withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 to protect the interests of farmers should also be part of the agenda for the dialogue.

The farmers had also written to the government on December 26 listing the agenda for talks.

 

In the latest letter, the Morcha pointed out that in its December 26 communication to the government, it had mentioned "changes" by mistakes instead of "withdrawal" in the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday farmer unions deferred to Thursday their proposed tractor march against the contentious agriculture laws, so that the rally does not clash with their talks with the government.

Thousands of protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at three Delhi border points -- Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri -- for the past 31 days, demanding a repeal of three farm laws and legal guarantee for minimum support price.

On Monday, farmer leaders agreed to the government proposal for holding the next round of talks on the new agricultural laws on December 30, but remained firm on their agenda of scrapping the laws.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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