New Delhi, Nov 29, 2021 – Hours after the Parliament passed the Repeal of Farm Laws Bill 2021, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Monday declared that the farmers have “won the battle, but war will continue” and reiterated the ‘ambiguities’ and ‘falsities’ in the farm bills.
On the other hand, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “The repeal of the farm laws shows that there is no difference between what the Prime Minister says and does.”
He also put the blame on the opposition for no discussion when the Repeal Bill was passed.
The AIKS release — referring to a clause ‘Provide freedom to the farmers to sell their produce to any buyer at any place of their choice to realise remunerative prices’ — said, “How this provision will ensure remunerative prices is not understandable. The present reality is that only 6 per cent of the farmers on an average in India are getting even the minimum support price proposed by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), and that too through the public procurement system.
“The remaining huge majority of the farmers are facing huge loss and exploitation in the private market. In the absence of public procurement system and public market, no small or marginal farmers — who constitute 85 per cent of the farming community — can afford the transportation and storage cost to sell their produce anywhere and to anybody as claimed by the government.”
Reminding the BJP that in 2014 it had agreed to pay the farmers as per the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission, the AIKS said that it has not been implemented in the last seven years of BJP rule.
“The farmers have correctly asked why the farm laws did not include this clause to guarantee remunerative price as promised by BJP,” the statement said.
The AIKS reiterated its earlier point that the farm laws had the purpose of corporatisation of agriculture without any provision of MSP system for procurement.
The other point criticised by the farmers’ body was government’s claim that the farm laws “created an ecosystem where in processor, bulk buyers, organised retailers, and exporters and the like can directly engage with the farmers”, saying that it promoted contract farming.
Meanwhile, Tomar said in a statement, “The repeal of farm laws shows that there is no difference between what the Prime Minister says and does.”
Claiming that there was “ample discussions when the three farm laws were brought in, Tomar said the opposition was demanding that these be repealed and when the ruling party too is ready, “then I understand this was a decision agreeable to all. It would have been better if there was no ruckus in the Parliament, the Lok Sabha Speaker had kept on insisting that he is ready to have a discussion provided the members went back to their seats.
“If there was a discussion, the government would have definitely answered all the questions,” he said. (Agency)