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SKM Rejects Govt’s Committee on MSP, Calls it ‘Bogus’

The umbrella collective of farmers’ organisations pointed to a lack of clarity on terms of reference, presence of pro-reform panelists in the committee, and no representative from Punjab as reasons for rejecting it.
SKM Rejects Govt’s Committee on MSP, Calls it ‘Bogus’

Thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi's border points protesting the Centre's agri laws. Representational Image. Image Courtesy: NDTV

A day after the Agricultural Ministry released a gazette notification on the formation of a committee on Minimum Support Price (MSP), the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has rejected because “so-called farmer leaders” who supported the now-repealed farm laws are its members, among other things.

Darshan Pal, a member of SKM’s coordination committee, alleged that the Central government’s committee looks “bogus” as it does not talk about ensuring the legal rights of farmers. He added that the farmer’s collective did not have any belief in this committee as its terms and references are not clear. Further, the committee did not have any representation from Punjab, a grain-surplus region of India.

“Today, we held a meeting of non-political leaders of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha. All leaders rejected the government's panel. The government has inducted so-called farmer leaders in the panel who didn't have anything to do with our agitation against the three farm laws at the Delhi borders,” farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar told PTI.

“In SKM's July 3 meeting, we had decided that we would provide names of our representatives for any panel only when the terms of references of the Centre's committee would be made clear to us. This committee lacks this virtue and looks bogus,” Pal told PTI.

The panel comprises NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand, agri-economists CSC Shekhar from the Indian Institute of Economic Development and Sukhpal Singh from IIM- Ahmedabad and senior member of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) Naveen P Singh.

Among farmers' representatives, the panel have national award-winning farmer Bharat Bhushan Tyagi, three members from SKM, and five members from other farmer organisations that include Gunwant Patil, Krishnaveer Choudhary, Pramod Kumar Choudhary, Guni Prakash and Sayyed Pasha Patel.

Two members of the farmers' cooperative, IFFCO Chairman Dilip Sanghani and CNRI General Secretary Binod Anand are included in the panel. Senior members of agricultural universities, five central government secretaries and chief secretaries of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha are also part of the committee.

While announcing the repeal of three farm laws in November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to set up a committee to discuss the farmers' demand for a legal guarantee on MSP.

(With inputs from PTI)

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