Monday, January 18, 2021

Centre says farm laws from two decades of deliberations, no repeal

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No breakthrough in govt-farmers talks, next meeting on Jan 15New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) After the hearing on farm laws concluded on Monday, the Centre hurriedly filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, stating that the legislations were not hurriedly made but are the result of two decades of deliberations, and their repeal is not justifiable or acceptable.

The apex court is scheduled to pronounce its order on a bunch of petitions over the farmers’ protests on Tuesday.

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has been actively and intensively engaging with the states for about two decades to introduce reforms to provide accessible and barrier-free market system for better price realisation, but states either showed reluctance to adopt the reforms in true spirit or made partial or cosmetic reforms.

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“The Central government has done its best to engage with the farmers to remove any misapprehensions or misgivings in the minds of the farmers and no efforts have been found lacking,” said the affidavit filed by Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Secretary.

Against the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre said that the situation may have a prolonged effect globally on demand side, hence, it became necessary and expedient for it to promulgate Farm Reform Ordinances, namely, (i) “the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and facilitation) Ordinance, 2020” ; (ii) “the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance”; and (iii) “the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020”.

The Centre said it has taken all conceivable steps to ensure that specific grievances of some farmers who are agitating are discussed and sorted out. “It is submitted that the Acts have received wide acceptance throughout the country and, therefore, some farmers and others objecting to the law had put a condition of its repeal, is neither justifiable nor acceptable,” said the affidavit.

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It insisted there had been an elaborate consultative process and procurement of views and no hurried decision was taken. “The farmers of the nation are happy as they are given an additional option over and above the existing and, therefore, no vested right is taken away”, said the Centre, insisting that affidavit is filed only to remove a deliberate wrong perception created systematically by non-farmer elements present at the protest site.


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