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Government Didn’t Give Any Assurance to Protesting Farmers on MSP Law: Tomar

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written response in the Parliament on Tuesday that the Union government has not given any assurance to protesting farmers about enacting laws to ensure minimum support prices.

Chintu Das
Narendra Singh Tomar
Narendra Singh Tomar

On Tuesday, Parliament was informed that the Centre has not kept its commitment to establish a committee to offer a formal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) as made to the body representing farmer unions, Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

Last year, thousands of farmers protested in force under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) against three agricultural laws. The protests were put to an end after the government agreed to repeal the legislation and gave them a written promise that it would establish a committee to look into the issue of how to guarantee MSPs for a range of agricultural commodities.

The three farm laws were repealed in November of last year, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to create a committee to address different concerns facing farmers, such as the minimum support price (MSP).

"The government had assured the formation of a committee to make MSP more effective and transparent, to promote natural farming, and to change crop patterns keeping in mind the changing needs of the country," Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written response to the question of whether the government had assured SKM of the constitution of a committee to provide a legal guarantee on MSP to farmers.

As a result, a committee made up of farmers, central government, state government, agricultural economists, scientists, etc. has been formed, he noted.

After making a similar commitment eight months prior and dropping three contentious farm laws, the government on Monday established a committee to study MSP. A "legal guarantee of MSP" is not mentioned in the panel's terms of reference.

SKM, the organization representing farmer unions, has rejected the government's committee on MSP, claiming that its members include "so-called farmer leaders" who backed the farm laws that have since been repealed and do not advocate for protecting farmers' legal rights.

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