Deadlock on Farm panel
- Recently Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry formed a committee.
- Objective of the Committee
- Promote zero budget-based farming
- Change crop patterns in line with changing needs of the country
- Make MSP more effective and transparent
- Three slots were kept vacant in 28-member committee to accommodate nominees of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).
- An umbrella body of about 300 farmers’ organisations, led the protests against three farm laws.
- SKM rejected the government’s offer and said it will not send any of its representatives to the panel.
Why is the farmers’ organisation upset?
- SKM wanted to know terms of reference of the proposed committee.
- There were no replies to these queries.
- They are upset that former Agriculture Secretary is chairman of the panel as he was at the helm when Centre launched three farm laws as ordinances.
- It also alleges that Niti Aayog member who is also in panel was the main advocate of farm laws.
- Five members representing other farmers’ associations are either directly associated with BJP-RSS or support their policies.
What do the farmers want?
- Farmers want legal guarantee of MSP, as per the recommendation of M.S. Swaminathan formula.
- Withdrawal of all cases against farmers who participated in protests
- Resignation of the Minister of State for Home Affairs over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
What happens next?
- Farmers argue that MSP is much less than the C2+50% formula.
- Centre says there is substantial improvement in the income of farmers as there is a consistent increase in MSP.
- Struggle for legal guarantee of MSP to ensure fair price for the crop to the farmers will continue.