According to Anil Ghanwat, Shetkari Sanghatana leader and member of the SC-appointed panel on farm laws, the report on farm laws submitted to the Supreme Court (SC) should be made public for debate and discussion.
‘We have now been submitting our report to the SC for five months. It is high time to bring the farm laws to a close. Farmers have been protesting for several months now. Also, there should be a public debate on the committee’s report so that farmers and the general public are aware of our recommendations,’ Ghanwat said on Monday.
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The three policies, which were enacted by Parliament in September of last year and are being challenged by some farmer unions. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, and the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act are the laws being scrutinized.
The Supreme Court suspended the implementation of the three laws on January 12 and formed a four-member expert panel. The committee was tasked with ‘listening to farmers’ grievances about farm laws and government views and making recommendations.’
According to Ghanwat, the committee prepared its report after consulting with all stakeholders. Farm unions protesting the laws, on the other hand, refused to meet with the panel. ‘The case cannot be postponed for months or years. If such a situation persists, no government will dare to implement farm reforms for the next 50 years,’ Ghanwat said.
Obtaining legislative support
Shetkari Sanghatana, founded by the late Sharad Joshi, has been an outspoken supporter of farm laws. Farmers opposing the laws are ramping up their protests ahead of the state elections in Uttar Pradesh, while Sanghatana members in Maharashtra are rallying support for the law.
According to Sanghatana leaders, the Central government may cave into ‘pressure‘ from farmers’ organizations opposing the law ahead of the State elections. Sanghatana intends to launch an agitation for the enactment of policies in this case.
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Farmers’ unions opposing the laws have demanded that the government withdraw them because all of the provisions are ‘anti-farmers‘ and intended to benefit a few industrial houses.