SAYS ‘SO-CALLED’ FARMER LEADERS WHO SUPPORTED 3 FARM LAWS ARE IN PANEL
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions, on Tuesday rejected the government’s committee on minimum support price, saying “so-called farmer leaders” who supported the now-repealed farm laws are its members.
Senior SKM member Darshan Pal alleged the Centre’s committee looks “bogus” as it does not talk about ensuring the legal rights of farmers. The government on Monday formed a committee on Minimum Support Price (MSP), eight months after it promised to set up such a panel while withdrawing the three contentious farm laws.
Former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal will be the chairman of the committee. The government has made a provision to include three members from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in the panel. “Today, we held a meeting of non-political leaders of Samyukta Kisan Morcha. All leaders rejected the government’s panel. The government has inducted so-called farmer leaders in the panel who didn’t have anything to do with our agitation against the three farm laws at the Delhi borders,” farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar told PTI. Kohar said the government has also made some corporate people members of the MSP panel. Farmer leader Darshan Pal said they don’t have any belief in this committee as its terms and references are not clear.
“There is no representation from Punjab in the committee. This committee formed by the Centre does not talk about ensuring the legal rights of farmers”.
“In SKM’s July 3 meeting, we had decided that we would provide names of our representatives for any panel only when the terms of references of the Centre’s committee would be made clear to us. This committee lacks this virtue and looks bogus,” Pal told PTI.
Under the umbrella of SKM, thousands of farmers had held a year-long agitation at Delhi borders and forced the government to withdraw the farm laws.
While announcing the repeal of three farm laws in November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to set up a committee to discuss the farmers’ demand for a legal guarantee on MSP.
The Agriculture Ministry issued a gazette notification announcing the committee in this regard.
The panel comprise Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand, agri-economists CSC Shekhar from the Indian Institute of Economic Development and Sukhpal Singh from IIM- Ahmedabad and senior member of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) Naveen P Singh.
Among farmers’ representatives, the panel have national award-winning farmer Bharat Bhushan Tyagi, three members from SKM, and five members from other farmer organisations that include Gunwant Patil, Krishnaveer Choudhary, Pramod Kumar Choudhary, Guni Prakash and Sayyed Pasha Patel.
Two members of the farmers’ cooperative, IFFCO Chairman Dilip Sanghani and CNRI General Secretary Binod Anand are included in the panel.
Senior members of agricultural universities, five central government secretaries and chief secretaries of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha are also part of the committee.