Convene special Parliament session to resolve farm issues: NCP

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(Eds: Correcting word in headline) Mumbai, Dec 17 (PTI) With the farmers stir against the Centres new farm laws continuing near Delhi borders, the NCP on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi convene a special session of Parliament to address the concerns of the agitating peasants.

Speaking to reporters here, NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase also called for bringing the PM CARES Fund under the ambit of public accountability, contending there is no explicit clarity about the entity.

Thousands of farmers have been camping at several Delhi border points for more than three weeks, seeking scrapping of the Centres three new agri-marketing laws.

We are observing since the last 22 days that thousands of farmers are in the vicinity of Delhi and opposing the farm laws which were hurriedly passed (in Parliament) by the Modi government.

The NCP demands that the Prime Minister convene a special session of Parliament, where the farmers concerns and apprehensions are addressed, Tapase said.

He said some farmers have laid down their lives for the cause and the BJP government at the Centre 'does not seem to be sympathising with the protesters'.

Hence, the issue has to be resolved at the Parliament-level, the NCP leader said.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the 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 these laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of minimum support price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

On the issue of the PM CARES Fund, set up in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Tapase said it appears that it is not a government-run trust.

So, the PM CARES Fund should not have been eligible for corporate donations. It means for the last two months, the PM CARES Fund, a private entity, has been receiving donations, he alleged.

Tapase said as of December 2019, the Prime Minister National Relief Fund had an unspent balance of Rs 3,800 crore.

Hence, there was no need for a separate fund, he said.

There is no explicit clarity regarding the PM CARES Fund and hence, it has to be brought under the ambit of public accountability, Tapase said. PTI ENM RSY RSY