Monday, March 8, 2021

Indian farmers reject government offer to suspend new laws | Agriculture News

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The Coalition of Farmers Unions says it will settle for nothing less than a complete repeal of farm laws.

Farm leaders have rejected the Indian government’s offer to suspend contentious farm laws for 18 months and set up a committee to examine their concerns over the legislation that has sparked the biggest farmer protests in years.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha, or United Farmers ‘Front, a coalition of farmers’ unions, said in a statement Thursday that it had rejected the government’s proposal and settled for nothing less than a complete repeal of the laws.

“This peaceful movement is becoming a popular movement and spreading nationwide,” the statement said.

The proposal to farmers’ leaders was made during the 10th round of negotiations between the two sides on Wednesday.

Tens and thousands of farmers have been blocking major highways connecting the capital to the north of the country for nearly two months and have threatened to step up their protest by staging a large tractor rally in New Delhi during the celebration of the Republic January 26.

Angry farmers say legislation passed by parliament in September will result in the commercialization of agriculture and the formation of cartels and make farmers vulnerable to corporate greed and devastate their incomes.

The government insists that the laws will benefit farmers and boost production through private investment. He has repeatedly ruled out withdrawing the laws, but said he could make changes.

Last week, India’s Supreme Court temporarily delayed implementation of the laws and formed an expert committee to negotiate with farmers.

Farm leaders have expressed doubts about the panel’s composition and said they would not appear before it. They said all four members were publicly in favor of the bill.

Bhupinder Singh Mann, one of the four members, later withdrew from the Supreme Court-appointed panel.

“As a farmer myself and as a union leader, in view of the feelings and apprehensions that prevail among the agricultural unions and the public in general, I am willing to sacrifice any position that is offered or given to me. so as not to jeopardize the interests of the Punjab and the country’s farmers, ”Mann said in a statement.

Mann is from the northern state of Punjab, one of the Indian states whose politically influential farmers have been at the forefront of the agitation against new farm laws.



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