In a draft proposal to farmers, the Centre offers ‘written assurance’ on MSP, but no word on repealing three laws

With the farmers’ protests at Delhi borders showing no signs of abating, the central government Wednesday sought to allay their concerns by proposing to give a “written assurance” that the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime for procurement will continue.

The draft proposal, however, doesn’t mention anything about the main demand of protesting farmers for the repeal of the laws. It mentioned that the government is willing to amend a total of seven issues in the troika of laws including the provisions that the farmers believe are detrimental for the APMC (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee) mandi system.

Hours later, farmer unions rejected the proposal and said they would intensify their agitation until the government accepts their demand for a complete repeal of the three laws.

In the proposal, sent by Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal, the government said it is ready to consider with an open heart the objections which farmers have on the new farm laws. “The government has tried to address the concerns of farmers with an open heart and with respect for the farming community of the country. The government appeals the Kisan unions to end their agitation,” it said.

The government has proposed seven amendments in the two new laws — The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. However, it has not touched The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 at all.

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