New Delhi: The seventh round of talks between farmers’ leaders and government on Wednesday ended after both sides sat for more than five hours to discuss way out to end the deadlock over the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new agriculture bills. ALSO READ | Deadline For Filing of Income Tax Return Extended – Details Inside
The government and farmer unions reached some common ground to resolve protesting farmers’ concerns over rise in power tariff and penalties for stubble burning, but the two sides remained deadlocked over the main contentious issues of the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.
Centre has given assurance of taking back stubble burning and electricity bills. However, there were no outcome over the farm laws issues. Next round of talks will be held on January 4 at 2 pm.
Agreement in 2 out of 4 issues was reached in the meeting which included – Stubble burning & Electricity Amendment Bill. Agreement on Main 2 demands of repealing Farmer Bill 2020 & guarantee of MSP is yet to be reached.
“Farmers feel that if reform is introduced in the Electricity Act, they’ll suffer loss. Unions wanted that electricity subsidy given to farmers by states for irrigation should continue. The consensus was reached on this issue also,” Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar said after the meeting.
“Government has been saying that MSP will continue. We are ready to give this in writing. But farmers’ unions feel MSP should get legal status. So the discussion will continue on the legal aspect of MSP & other issues on Jan 4 at 2 pm,” he added.
“There’s still a deadlock over 3 farm laws being scrapped. We couldn’t reach a consensus with them on MSP. On issue of stubble burning, govt agreed to exclude farmers from fine. On electricity issue, govt has taken back Power Bill 2020,” said Krantikari Kisan Union President Darshan Pal.
“Issues related to stubble burning and electricity were sorted in today’s meeting. 2 of our main issues still need to be resolved. We’ll discuss topics related to MSP & repealing of 3 Farm laws in the next meeting on 4th Jan,” said Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
Protesting farmers and their representatives met Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar in New Delhi today at Vigyan Bhawan. Besides Narendra Tomar, Piyush Goel, Minister of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution and Som Prakash, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry were also present during the meeting.
This was the seventh round of talks between the centre and the protesting farmers. Farmers and their protesting unions have been on the table with the Agriculture Minister led panel six times (including today’s meet), while Amit Shah had met a smaller delegation of farmers registering their concerns.
Meanwhile, a day ahead of the meet, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which represents 40 farmer unions, had clearly stated that the discussion with the central government will only be fruitful if there is a scope to repeal the three farm laws and a legal guarantee on MSP.