Centre to discuss 4-point agenda with farmers on Dec 30

The Centre, responding to the farm unions' request to discuss the four-point agenda, invited farmers on Monday to discuss all issues on December 30, 2020.

The Centre, on Monday, invited farmers to discuss all issues on Wednesday i.e., December 30, 2020. This invitation comes as a response to the proposal of discussing the four-point agenda given by the protesting farm unions. The government further commented that it was dedicated to finding logical solutions to prevalent problems which are reasonable for all.

The 40 farm unions however, found the central government’s invitation vague and unclear. They commented that the centre was beating around the bush with words in the letter. While the letter did not include the full agenda, the government collectively wants to resume talks which were broken down on December 9, 2020. This decision comes subsequently after the government’s decision to amend the farm laws rather than completely repeal them.

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The agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal, through his letter to the farm unions, conveyed that a detailed discussion shall take place on December 30, 2020. The topics shall be related to the three farm laws, minimum selling price (MSP) procurement mechanism, Electricity (Amendment Bill) 2020 and regulation on air quality in NCR and surrounding areas. The agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar conveyed his confidence about the implementation of farm laws. He also expressed his surety about the government’s success in explaining their benefits.

However, the letter makes no mention of the specific points highlighted in the protesting farmers’ agenda. These points include methods to repeal the farm laws and mechanism to ensure an efficient, legally recognised MSP. Due to these inadequacies, the farm unions had brief discussion among themselves before formally accepting the invitation.

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A farm union leader, after holding a meeting with other unions, decided to formally accept the invitation today i.e., December 29, 2020. Even though there are certain doubts about the centre’s intentions, the unions collectively accepted the centre’s invitation to discuss on Wednesday.

The agriculture secretary’s letter informed that the discussion shall happen on December 30 at Vigyan Bhawan at 2 pm. The discussion shall ensue between a Group of Ministers and the farm unions. Tomar shall lead the discussion about finding acceptable solutions from the government’s side.