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Protesting farmers reject Centre's five-year MSP proposal, to continue Delhi march on Wednesday

Centre on Sunday proposed to buy pulses, maize, and cotton crops by government agencies at minimum support prices for five years after an agreement with farmers at the fourth round of talks. The Delhi Chalo march was put on hold after the meeting.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Updated on: February 20, 2024 6:03 IST
Farmers at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border
Image Source : PTI Farmers at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border

The farmers on Monday (February 19) rejected the government's proposal to purchase five crops at minimum support price (MSP) over the period of next five years and said that "it is not in favour of farmers". They said that the farmers will resume their 'Dilli Chalo' march to the national capital from the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border starting February 21.

"After the discussion of both forums, it has been decided that if you analyse, there is nothing in the government's proposal...This is not in the favour of farmers. We reject it," farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said.

SC should take suo moto cognisance: Farmer leader

Dallewal said that Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann did not take notice of the situation faced by the farmers at the border. He also urged the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognisance of the alleged use of tear gas against them by the police.

"The way farmers were treated at the (Shambhu) border is condemnable. The main reason for inviting Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to the meetings was to raise the issue of barricading along the borders, and that people of his state (Punjab) are facing tear gas shelling from neighbouring state. He guaranteed to take notice of the situation, but he hasn’t. He should have put this issue in front of ministers. And today, Haryana DGP in his statement said that we haven’t used pellet guns and tear gas; we request Supreme Court to take suo moto cognisance against those who have done this act," he said.

Centre-farmers fourth round of talks 

Centre on Sunday (February 19) proposed to buy pulses, maize, and cotton crops by government agencies at minimum support prices for five years after an agreement with farmers at the fourth round of talks. Following the discussion, the 'Delhi Chalo' march was put on hold.

Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Arjun Munda, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai held the talks at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration in Chandigarh.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also joined the meeting, which began at 8.15 pm on Sunday and ended at around 1 am on Monday.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Goyal said the panel has proposed the buying of pulses, maize, and cotton crops by government agencies at minimum support prices for five years after entering into an agreement with farmers.

The farmer leaders had said they will discuss the government's proposal in their forums over the next two days and thereafter, decide the future course of action.

The farmers announced that they reject the government's proposal and would now resume their protest once again towards the national capital.

What was the government's proposal?

Union Minister Piyush Goyal unveiled a significant proposition suggesting that government agencies engage in agreements with farmers to procure pulses, maize, and cotton crops at MSPs for the next five years. This initiative aimed to provide stability and assurance to farmers while promoting agricultural growth in various sectors.

Under the proposed agreements, cooperative societies such as the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will commit to purchasing 'tur dal,' 'urad dal,' 'masoor dal,' and maize crops from farmers at MSPs. These agreements will provide farmers with a guaranteed market for their produce and contribute to the revitalisation of Punjab's agricultural landscape.

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) is gearing up to procure cotton from farmers at MSPs for the next five years. This initiative aims to support cotton farmers and promote the cultivation of cotton in Punjab. Farmers cultivating cotton will have the opportunity to enter into agreements with the CCI, ensuring the procurement of their produce at MSPs.

(With inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | Centre unveils 5-year plan in fourth round of talks with farmers: What is it? Explained

ALSO READ | Farmers Protest: Union Ministers propose five-year plan at fourth round of talks

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