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Farmers sticking to core demands ahead of talks with Centre
New Delhi, December 30, 2020
Even as farmer leaders are scheduled to hold the sixth round of talks with the Centre in Delhi on Wednesday afternoon, a farmer leader has emphasised that they are still demanding the repeal of the three Central farm laws and a law on crop MSPs.
Asked about the farmers' agenda for the latest round of talks, All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Major Singh Punawal asserted that they would again ask about the process to repeal the three laws and to bring a law on the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
"Farmer leaders did not agree to discuss the proposals sent by the government earlier on because it talked about amendments to the new farm laws. But now, parleys will be held on the issues suggested by the farmers. We will like to talk on those issues only," Punawal added.
The four issues suggested by farmer leaders for talks are -- the procedure to be followed to repeal the three central farm laws; procedure and provision for legal guarantee for procurement of crops at profitable MSP, as suggested by the National Farmers Commission for all agricultural commodities; amendments to The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020, to exclude farmers from penal provisions; and the procedure to withdraw the draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020, to protect the interests of farmers.
As for the arrangement of food and drinks for farmer leaders at the Vigyan Bhavan, where the talks will begin at 2 pm, the farmer leader asserted that they would make their own arrangements.
"It is not important that the government will make arrangements for food for farmer representatives or they will bring their own food. Fellow farmers have been making arrangements for food for those sitting on Delhi roads for the last 35 days, and so, we too will make our own arrangements for food; but the important thing is -- the Union government should listen to the farmers," he remarked.
Meanwhile, the protest by farmers under the banner of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha on Delhi borders continued for the 35th day on Wednesday.
The farmers are demanding the repeal of The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Production and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.