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Farmers asked to name MSP panel members

The move came a day after Parliament repealed the three contentious farm reform laws as had been demanded by the protesting unions.   | Photo Credit: Prasad R.V.S.

Moving forward on the Prime Minister’s promise to set up a committee to discuss minimum support prices (MSP) for crops among other issues, the Centre has informally asked protesting farm unions to suggest five names to be part of the panel. However, the leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a joint platform of the unions, say no formal written communication has yet been received.

The move came a day after Parliament repealed the three contentious farm reform laws as had been demanded by the protesting unions. Their other key demand is for a legal guarantee that all farmers will receive remunerative prices, one and a half times the comprehensive cost of production, for all their crops.

 

On November 19, the Prime Minister said a committee would be formed “to promote zero budgeting based agriculture, to change crop pattern as per the changing needs of the country and to make MSP more effective and transparent”, with representatives from State and Central Governments, farmers, agricultural scientists and economists.

“SKM confirms that there was a telephone call from the Government of India to a Punjab farmer union leader, wherein the Government wanted five names to be suggested from SKM's side for a committee,” said the SKM core committee, in a late night statement on Tuesday. “However, we have received no written communication and no details are available so far about what this committee is about, its mandate or Terms of Reference. In the absence of such details, it would be premature to comment on this issue,” it added.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has argued that the farmers’ demand on MSP would be fulfilled by the formation of the committee, and urged protesters to go home. The unions have said they will wait to take a decision on their future course of action on December 4. However, separate meetings of the Punjab and Haryana unions have been taking place this week, and The Hindu has previously reported that some Punjab unions feel that the main struggle is over with the repeal of the three laws.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 8:18:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-asks-farmers-to-name-representatives-for-msp-committee/article37782357.ece

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