Editorial

Ball in Centre’s court

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/15/2021 12:05:21 PM IST

 Forced on the backfoot by adamant farmers who continue to insist that only a repeal of the three controversial farm laws will resolve the ongoing crisis, the government appears to be as adamant in not acceding to the demands. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at various border points of Delhi for nearly two months now against the three farm laws. They fear that these legislations will lead to the weakening of the minimum support price (MSP) system. The three contentious laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. The government has asked the farmers to approach the Supreme Court. By telling the farmers to seek help from the court, the government appears to be confident that such an adjudication will be in its favour. The court set up a four-member committee of experts to resolve the protracted dispute between the farmers and the Centre. According to the court order, the first sitting of the panel will be within ten days from January 12 and the proceedings of the committee should wrap up in two months thereafter. The matter will be heard again after eight weeks. The farmers were not enthused by the Court’s four-member committee of experts as they pointed out that the members are pro-farm laws. Even as early as on December 21,2020, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) had said the issue of the ongoing farmers’ protests against three new farm laws needs to be resolved by the government and not the Supreme Court. The government is certainly not disappointed by the Court’s order as the laws have only been kept in abeyance. Even while passing the three laws, the government used its brute strength in parliament. The three laws were passed after opposition MPs walked out when their request for a debate referring the laws to a parliamentary standing committee was brushed aside. Even in the Rajya Sabha, the deputy chairman refused the demand for a division. Having muzzled debate in parliament, the government is confident that by wearing out the farmers and with the three laws merely being suspended, it will have its way in the end. There are several farm committee reports such as Swaminathan which could serve as a guide before framing new laws. The problem arises when important legislation is not adequately debated and stakeholders consulted before passing laws. There are expert parliamentary committees whose observations should be considered in such matters. One of the reasons why the farmers are not willing to accept both the government’s assurances to amend some clauses in the farm laws and the court’s order to sit and talk things over, is because they believe the government of the day is going all out to favour a corporate house. The farmers also believe the government wants to tire them with prolonged discussions and hope they will suspend their agitation and go back so as to eventually break their ranks. The government hasn’t budged yet and it seems committed to protect not the farmers or people’s interest but that of a corporate giant.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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