Govt invites Farmer’s Unions, next round of talks

Asks them to choose convenient date

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NEW DELHI: The government on Sunday wrote to the protesting farmer unions inviting them for the next round of talks and asked them to choose a convenient date. In a letter to the union leaders, Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal said, “I request those previously invited protesting union leaders to provide details of their remaining concerns and doubts and suggest a date as per convenience for next round of talks.”

Previous five rounds of formal talks between the government and 40 farmer unions have failed to break the deadlock with the farmers insisting on repeal of the Centre’s three laws and camping at various border points of Delhi for over three weeks now. The government intends to convene the next meeting at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi for resolving the issue so that the ongoing protests end at the earliest, Aggarwal said.

He said the Centre is making all efforts to find appropriate solution to resolve all the issues raised by the farmers with an open mind.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, UP and some other states are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country. However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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