Issues of stubble burning, safeguarding power subsidies sorted, say farmer leaders

ANI
·3-min read
Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson BKU speaking to media on Wednesday.
Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson BKU speaking to media on Wednesday.

New Delhi [India], December 31 (ANI): A consensus was reached on stubble burning and safeguarding power subsidies, two of the four issues that were on the agenda for talks between protesting farmers and central ministers on Wednesday.

Speaking to media, Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), said: "Issues related to stubble burning and electricity were sorted in today's meeting. Two of our main issues still need to be resolved. We will discuss topics related to MSP and repealing of three Farm laws in the next meeting on January 4."

The repeal of three farm market reform laws and a legal guarantee for minimum support prices (MSPs) for farm produce are among the biggest demands of the farmers.

While Krantikari Kisan Union President Darshan Pal said, "There is still a deadlock over three farm laws being scrapped. We could not reach a consensus with them on MSP. On issue of stubble burning, the government agreed to exclude farmers from fine. On the electricity issue, the government has taken back Power Bill 2020."

Balkaran Singh Brar, Punjab President, All India Kisan Sabha said, "Talks were positive today. The government has been saying that we should end agitation and form a committee. But we did not listen to them. We won't take back our movement. We won't form any committee. We will discuss MSP in the next meet."

At the conclusion of the seventh round of talks held here on Wednesday the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated that the next meeting will now be held on January 4.

"Today's talks were held in a very good environment and it concluded on a positive note. Consensus on two out of four issues was reached between both sides," Tomar said while speaking to media after conclusion of talks with the representatives of farmers' unions at Vigyan Bhawan here.

During the meeting, the farmer leaders have demanded justice and compensation for the families of the farmers who died during the protest.

Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar had food with farmer leaders during the lunch break at Vigyan Bhawan.

"Considering the chilly weather in Delhi, I have requested the farmer leaders to send home the elderly, women and children. The next round of talks will be held on January 4," Tomar said.

"First issue was an ordinance related to the Environment. Unions were apprehensive about farmers being included along with stubble ones. Both sides agreed to farmers' exclusion," he said

The union agriculture minister said that Farmers feel that if reform is introduced in the Electricity Act, they'll suffer loss. "Unions wanted that electricity subsidy given to farmers by states for irrigation should continue. The consensus was reached on this issue also, he said.

Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)