New Delhi: The Government of India (GoI) has proposed to suspend the three farm laws for one and a half years and set up a joint committee to discuss the legislation at the tenth round of talks with farmer unions.
However, the farmer leaders did not immediately accept the government’s proposal and said they will revert after internal consultation on January 21. The next meeting has been scheduled for January 22.
Quoting Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan, a report by Times of India, said: “The government proposed to suspend the farm laws for one and a half years. We rejected the proposal but since it has come from the government, we will meet tomorrow and deliberate over it.”
Another farmer leader Kavitha Kuruganti told the newspaper that GoI also proposed to submit an affidavit in the Supreme Court for suspending the three farm laws for a mutually-agreed period and set up a committee.
According to the report, unions are firm on their demand for a complete repeal of the laws, but they will still discuss the government’s proposal and give their final decision in the next meeting.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the GoI is hopeful of reaching a solution in the next meeting with the farmers.
“Today’s talks raise hope of resolving all issues about the farmers’ protest. The government wants agitation to end. Talks can continue with the unions,” Tomar was quoted as saying.
In the meeting, the farmer leaders said that there was no breakthrough in the first two sessions as both sides were stuck on their stated positions vis-a-vis the three farm laws and there was little hope of any outcome other than fixing the date for the 11th round.
Sources told the newspaper that GoI proposed to keep the three farm laws suspended for a fixed time period and form a committee comprising of farmer union leaders and government representatives.
The report quoting the sources added that ministers proposed that the laws would remain suspended till the committee gives its report and urged farmer unions to suspend their agitation too till that time.