Farmer leaders reject Centre’s draft proposal, call for nationwide protest

Farmer unions on Wednesday rejected the Central government’s draft proposal to amend the new farm laws as they continue to remain firm on their demands of repealing the laws.

Farmers also threatened to intensify protests and said, “We will block Jaipur-Delhi highway on December 12 and a nationwide agitation will be launched on December 14.”

Earlier, the Central government sent a draft proposal to 13 agitating farmer unions.

Key points of the draft proposal 

On the concern that the mandis would weaken after the new laws, the government said an amendment can be made wherein state governments can register the traders operating outside mandis.

States can also impose tax and cess as they used in APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandis on them.

On concerns that anyone having just a pan card is allowed to trade outside APMC mandis, the government said, the state governments can be given the power to register such traders and make rules.

On the issue of dispute resolution, the government said it is open to making an amendment to provide for an appeal in civil courts. Currently, the dispute resolution is at SDM level.

On the concerns that big corporates will take over farmlands, the government said it has already been made clear in the laws, but still, for clarity’s sake, it can be written that no buyer can take loans against farmland nor any such condition will be made to farmers.

On attaching farmland under contract farming, the government said the existing provision is clear but still it can be clarified further if required.

On fear about the scrapping of the MSP regime and shifting of trade to private players, the government said it is ready to give a written assurance that the existing MSP will continue.

On farmers’ demand to scrap the Air Quality Management of NCR Ordinance 2020, under which there is the provision of penalty for stubble burning, the government said it is ready to find an appropriate solution.

On Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held talks with farmers to end the deadlock over the farm laws. However, the talks remained inconclusive as both sides remained firm on their positions. Also during the last meeting on December 5, farmers’ union leaders stuck to their demand for the withdrawal of the new farm laws.

The farmers’ unions have been protesting since November 26, demanding an immediate withdrawal of the farm laws.