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Day 30 of farmers' stir: Demand for law on MSP guarantee grows
New Delhi, December 25, 2020
As the protests at the borders of the national capital complete a month on Friday, the agitating farmers said they will continue to be there till the Centre withdraws the farm laws, guarantees the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and implements all their other demands.
Punjab and Haryana are the two states in the country where the government agencies procure paddy and wheat from farmers at the MSP. Even then, Haryana farmer leader and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) state President Gurnam Singh Chaduni demanded that the Central government enact a law to guarantee the procurement of crops at the MSP.
Chaduni said it was the 30th day since the farmers began their protest and the agitation would continue till the Central government provided a concrete solution to all their demands.
Chaduni told IANS that the MSP was a major issue for the farmers across the country and there needed to be a law on this as the farmers are forced to sell their crops at a lower price.
He said that, therefore, the issue of the MSP was bigger than the repealing of all the three farm laws which the government should consider.
Rakesh Tikait, a farmer leader from Uttar Pradesh and the BKU spokesperson, said that the guarantee of crop purchase at the MSP is a major demand of the farmers and the government should enact a law guaranteeing crop procurement at the MSP.
The Central government has given a written assurance to the protesting farmer organisations on continuing the existing system of procurement of crops at the MSP. However, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said that a new law on MSP should be formulated. He said there are other issues put forth by the farmers, including stubble burning, which they want to resolve.
On the other hand, there are some farmer organisations that have met the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, voicing support for the new farm laws. Most of them are farmers' organisations belonging to Uttar Pradesh. Asked about the pro-farmer unions, Rakesh Tikait, said, "There is no farmer organisation in Uttar Pradesh except the BKU. If there is a farmer organisation other than us, I would like to meet them and ask how this law is in the interest of farmers."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is directly sending Rs 18,000 crore as the seventh instalment of the Central government's scheme to the bank accounts of nearly nine crore beneficiaries under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana during an event organised on the occasion of the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday.
The Central government on Thursday had again sent a letter to the protesting farmer organisations for the next round of talks and requested them to decide the date and time for talks. The letter said the Central government was ready with a positive approach to hold talks on all oral and written issues raised by the agitating farmer organisations.
During the Monsoon session of Parliament, three important bills related to all the three ordinances related to agriculture were introduced and after the approval from both the Houses, were passed. These are: The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance And Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 came into effect in September.
Under the banners of United Kisan Morcha, farmers led by leaders of nearly 40 farmer organisations, have been camping at the Delhi borders since November 26, demanding the repealing of all the three farm laws.