MSP will not be touched, Agri Minister Tomar assures farmers as talks to continue on Dec 5

Rahul M
·5-min read

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday assured farmer leaders that MSP (Minimum Support Price) will not be touched, and no changes will be made to it during the fourth round of talks between the Centre and farmer leaders at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.

Talks between the government and farmers’ leaders will continue on December 5 to find a resolution to the deadlock.

On the other hand, the farmer leaders suggested to the government that a special session of the Parliament be called and the new farm laws be abolished, according to ANI.

“Government has given indications over MSP. It seems that their stand over MSP will be fine. The talks have made a little progress,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union’s spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.

Tomar urged farmers to end their agitation so that people of Delhi don't face problems that they are facing due to protests.

"The government is committed to the interest of the farmers. Govt has no ego. Discussions with farmer organisations were held with an open mind," said Tomar.

“In the new Act, it has been provided that farmers can take their grievances to SDM court. Farmers' Unions feel that SDM court is a lower court and they should be allowed to go the court. Govt will consider this demand,” Tomar further added.

A group of more than 34 farmer leaders put out a five-point set of demands that seeks to frame a specific law on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and end the punishment provision for stubble burning.

In the written five-point set of demands, one of the key demands is the repeal of three contentious farm laws passed in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament. It also raises objections about the upcoming Electricity (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Along with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister Piyush Goyal, the meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash and Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal.

The farmers emphasised that the provision to register a case for stubble burning should be ended, and asked why the government wasn’t ready to give them “written assurance” on MSP despite its earlier statements that MSP will continue.

The farmer union representatives emphasised that a new law on MSP should be framed in a special session of Parliament, demanding that it must guarantee them MSP not only now but in the future as well.

The farmer leaders said: “Let us assume that MSP will continue but the procurement would stop. The MSP will have no meaning then.”

The farmer union representatives said that the government says the three farm laws were brought in with the the interests of farmers in mind. They said that the farm laws have been passed to benefit big business and corporate houses.

Giving an example of sugarcane procurement, the farmers' organisations objected to contract farming and pointed out its drawbacks.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union, the Bharatiya Kisan Sanyukta Morcha and the Krantikari Kisan Union are among the more than 34 farm union representatives who put the demand before the Centre to call a special session of Parliament and frame a law on MSP.

The farm unions were also reportedly adamant on demanding the government repealing its three farm laws enacted in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament. They have also put some other demands on behalf of thousands of farmers owing allegiance to these organisations, huddled under the open sky in the cold winter, refusing to budge until their demands are met.

(With additional inputs from The Quint)