Majority of farmer bodies backed Farm Laws: SC set paneltext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed committee to study the three contentious, rolled back farm laws submitted that most of the farmer organisations supported the legislation, The Indian Express reported.
Releasing the report on Monday, farmer leader and SC committee member Anil Ghanwat said that the finding is significant for the farmers as well as policymakers.
The committee's report, submitted before the SC on March 19, 2021, said that it has met with 266 farm organisations received 19,027 representations through its online portal and 1,520 emails. Ghanwat had requested SC as well as PM Modi to release the report, and on Monday, a year since its submission before SC, he decided to release it. It claimed that out of 73 organisations covering 3.83 crore farmers, 61 organisations representing 3.3 crores supported the laws. Four organisations representing 51 lakh opposed the laws, while seven representing 3.6 lakh sough amendments. TIE had received a copy of the report.
Further, the report states that many agitating farmers in the periphery of Delhi chose not to interact with the committee despite being invited but wanted bilateral talks with the Union government. Though the committee respects their decision, it included their stand while formulating recommendations, the report stated. It said that two-thirds of suggestions received through the portal supported the laws. It added that only 27.5 per cent of farmers sell their produce at Minimum Support Prices (MSP), and they belong to Chattisgarh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
After the report suggested many recommendations. It called for a cap on the procurement of wheat and paddy by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Instead of largescale purchases, the government should adopt the National Cooperative Agricultural Marketing Federation's (NAFED) procurement model of oilseeds and pulses.
Ghanwat said North Indian farmers lost the opportunity to use the laws and increase their come. He added that the Union government made a big mistake repealing the laws, which is why BJP faced a massive loss in Punjab.
The Supreme Court had appointed the committee after a hearing a bunch of petitions against the Narendra Modi government's three farm laws, namely The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, in 2020. The committee comprised agricultural economist and former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, and Ghanwat. The former two were not present at the publishing occasion.