The farmers contend that these laws would leave them at the mercy of corporates by weakening the MSP and mandi systems
Farmers continued their protest against recently enacted laws with no breakthrough in sight in the talks between their representatives and the central government. The farmers held a day-long fast on Monday as part of the protest, which has continued for almost three weeks at the Delhi border.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and some other states have been protesting on various borders of the national capital since the end of November against three laws passed by Parliament recently.
The farmers contend that these laws would leave them at the mercy of corporates by weakening the minimum support price (MSP) and mandi systems. The government has presented these laws as major reforms in the agriculture sector that would help increase the income of farmers.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that the government is willing to hold a dialogue with farmers but asserted that the recent reforms have been undertaken with the interests of farmers in mind. The government is “always willing to listen to our farmer brothers, allay their misgivings" and provide them with whatever assurances they can, he said at the annual convention of Ficci.
There have been six rounds of negotiations between the Centre and farmer leaders but these have so far been inconclusive. Around 10 groups of farmers have come out against the three Acts. The government is working on a date for the next round of talks, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said. The Centre is ready for talks and the farmer leaders have to decide on when they are ready, he said.
Meanwhile, even as protests against the laws continue, the All India Kisan Coordination Committee on Monday became the fourth farm group to extend support to the laws.