1. Agriculture World

Farm Bill 2020 : Centre calls Punjab Farmers for 2nd round of Talk on December 3

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap

The Centre has invited farmer unions from Punjab region for the second round of ministerial talks on December 3 to resolve differences over the farm bills. 

The meeting comes after farmer leaders had laid a condition for an additional central ministerial meeting while calling off their 'rail roko' agitation in Punjab region on November 23 and lifted the nearly two-month-long blockade, allowing resumption of only goods trains. 

Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said, "We have called the representatives of over 30 farmer organisations for the second round of dialogue discussion on December 3 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi at 11:00 am". The secretary has also sent the invitation to the farmer bodies on behalf of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal is also expected to attend the meeting. 

Apart from them, officials from food and agriculture departments of the Punjab government have also been invited for the second round of dialogue discussion. The first round of talks was held on November 13, but it remained inconclusive, with both sides sticking to their ground. Punjab farmers have been demanding the repeal of the new farm laws and replace them with another set of laws framed after wider consultation with stakeholders.  

They also demanded a guarantee on the MSP front, as they claimed that these new laws may cause to the end of minimum support prices (MSP) procurement, which the Centre has denied.  

When asked about farmer demand on MSP, the Union Food Secretary said, "Earlier laws too didn’t have any mention of MSP. Even the new farm laws do not mention it. MSP is mentioned only in the National Food Security Act (NFSA) which has not been changed. Till Public Distribution System (PDS) is there, MSP will continue". 

The Prime Minister has also stated this and even the Union Agriculture Minister has said in the Parliament that MSP will continue by saying, "We have explained in detail to farmer unions about this issue. Hopefully, we’ll resolve the issue with them at the December 3 meeting." 

Inputs from PTI  

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