Farmers' organisations from Haryana, Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, which support the three new farm laws, met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Krishi Bhawan on Monday afternoon. They handed over a memorandum demanding that the three laws be implemented, with some amendments.
The farmers groups come under the banner of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC), which was founded by the late Sharad Joshi, and is now chaired by former Rajya Sabha MP Bhupinder Singh Mann.
“Reforms are needed in order to make agriculture competitive. But safeguards are needed to protect farmers, and anomalies must also be corrected,” Mr. Mann told The Hindu .
Among other things, he wanted amendments to ensure that judicial recourse is ensured, and that there is a level playing field created between private and state-run markets. He also wanted a written guarantee that minimum support prices (MSPs) will continue. Mr. Mann wanted the Essential Commodities Act to do away with existing restrictions, which allow the government to impose stock limits in the event of extreme price hikes.
The Centre has already expressed its willingness to consider some of these demands.
“The government is ready for talks at any time. We wanted to have a clause-by-clause discussion on these laws. We have given our proposal to the farmers to let them study it. The farmer leaders have to decide and convey when they are ready for the next meeting. We are engaging with farmers,” said Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, after meeting with the group of pro-reforms farmers.