India’s federal government invites protesting farmers to discuss the Farm bill

India’s federal government invites protesting farmers to discuss the Farm bill

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India’s federal government has invited the protesters on Tuesday, to hold talks with the government.
  • In a letter to 32 farmers unions, Sanjay Agrawal called on the farmers to attend talks at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan today.
  • Leaders of 32 farmers union representing the millions of Indian farmers will partake in the meeting today at 3 PM in New Delhi.
  • A successful negotiation to hold talks with the farmers come after efforts to for the same was turned down by the farmers Sunday.

KOLKATA (India) — Six-days after farmers have been relentlessly protesting around New Delhi, India’s federal government has invited the protesters on Tuesday, to hold talks with the government.

In a letter to 32 farmers unions, the most senior civil servant at the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sanjay Agrawal called on the farmers to attend talks at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan today.

According to reports, leaders of 32 farmers union representing the millions of Indian farmers will partake in the meeting today at 3 PM in New Delhi to discuss the Farm bill.

As per reports, the farmers have arrived at the New Delhi convention center in a white bus to initiate the talks. Home Minister Amit Shah will be reportedly present at the conference.

The issue – Farm Bill 2020

Three controversial farm bills passed by the government have invoked the biggest-in-decades uproar among the nation’s farmers as they argue the bill would ultimately push them at the cusp of capitalism.

The farmers, who make nearly half of India’s economic workforce either demand withdrawal of the three bills or guarantee them the minimum standard price for their produce in a new bill.

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A successful negotiation to hold talks with the farmers come after efforts to for the same were turned down by the farmers Sunday.

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposal to shift their protests to a particular venue and hold talks with the administration, and further threatened to ramp up protests and blockade the five major entry points to New Delhi.

On Sunday, highways to Delhi from Haryana were already blocked by the protesting farmers who have been on the road for several days now, subsisting on makeshift shelters and kitchens. Other borders of Delhi like Tirki and Sindhu were blocked for traffic.

If the government is serious about addressing the demands of the farmers, there should be no conditions, and a straightforward solution must be given, the protesting farmers said.

PM Modi, at his latest visit to Varanasi, reiterated the bill’s ‘reform’ rhetoric, something that the farmers have discarded time and again.

He alleged the opposition for misinterpreting the bills.

“Earlier, if someone did not like any decision of the government, then it was opposed. But fears have been formed on the basis of protest for some time. Confusion is spread about what has not happened yet, which will never happen. The same is happening in the case of historical agricultural reforms,” Modi said from his constituency Varanasi, on Monday.

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But the small growers in India’s agrarian economy fear that the bill would push them at the mercy of huge corporates, whereas earlier they got the security of a minimum price for their produce from government-regulated wholesalers.

As per the Narendra Modi-led government, the three bills would “empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters, etc., on a level playing field.”

But farmers fear the government would ultimately seize guaranteeing them the minimum standard prize for their produce like wheat, barley, and rice, and they’ll be left at the mercy of huge corporates for their produce.

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