Farmers reject Centre’s offer of written assurance on MSP, changes in acts



The Centre today offered to give agitating farmers a written assurance on continuing with the existing mechanism of Minimum Strengthen Price (MSP)-based procurement, as it sought to placate them, It also suggested a host of other changes in the new farm acts such as power to states to register and charge levy on private mandis out of doors the regulated APMCs and option to farmers to approach the civil courts whether they are not content with the existing dispute resolution mechanism.

The Centre said that states can frame rules for registration of traders out of doors the APMC. The Business Act said that anybody with just a PAN Card can purchase any farm produce out of doors the regulated the APMCs.

Not content with the proposals, farmers groups rejected the offer and demanded total repeal of the acts.

The agitating farmers said that they are going to send their own version of changes to the acts and threatened to continue with their agitation programme in the coming days.

Meantime, on the question of repealing the three farm acts as being demanded by a group of farmers, the Central government practically rejected it saying that it is instead willing to talk about all of the issues in the Acts on which farmers have any doubt or confusion.

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The written compromise offer came after more than a four-hour long assembly with Home Minister Amit Shah final night.

Aside from the changes to the new farm acts, the Central government also assured the farmers that the current system of electricity subsidy will continue and no change will be incorporated in it as proposed in the draft electricity invoice.

It also said that farmers’ grievance on penalty for stubble burning as underlined in the new Ordinance on Air Quality Management in NCR may also be suitably addressed.

The Central government also tried to guarantee the farmers that new farm acts will not any way encroach on their land and said that it is willing to further give a boost to its provisions to lucid any doubts in the minds of the farmers.

“The acts clearly say that them can’t be any encumbrance on the land of the farmer, but whether there is any doubt then it may be further elucidated,” the document sent by the Central government to the agitating farmers said.

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On registration of contracts in the Contract Farming Act, the Centre said that already there’s a provision that states will have the correct to register such agreements between a buyer and a farmer, but till that such an authority whether framed, a copy of the said agreement must deposited with the concerned SDM.

Meantime, a delegation of opposition parties including Rahul Gandhi from the Congress, Sharad Pawar from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Sitaram Yechury from CPI(M), D Raja from CPI and TKS Elangovan from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) met the President Ram Nath Kovind to urge him to persuade the government to yield to the demand of protesting farmers and repeal the three farm bills – which accidentally, the President has already provided assent to, making them law.

This is the second one assembly of opposition leaders on these bills, the first one being in September when they urged the President to counsel the government to withdraw the bills and return them without signing them.

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