Farmer unions will hold meeting on Thursday at Singhu border in Delhi to discuss the Centre's latest offer on the farm laws. During the 10th round of talks at Vigyan Bhawan on Wednesday, the Centre made an offer to keep the new farm laws on hold for 18 months and resolve the issues related to the laws through a committee.
Farmer leaders have termed the proposal worth considering and decided that representatives of all the farmer organisations will hold consultations and then apprise the government about their stand. The next meeting has been scheduled for January 2.
"We do not trust the committee, but the government has offered to put the laws on hold... It is definitely a matter to consider. We will discuss this and eventually try to form an opinion," farmer leader Shivkumar Kakka, who has been a part of all the 10 meetings held with the government, said.
Another farmer leader Darshan Pal Singh, who was present in the meeting on Wednesday, said: "The Central government told us that it would submit an affidavit in the Supreme Court to put the laws on hold. Implementation of laws would be put on hold till the issues are resolved This proposal of the government is worth considering."
Reacting on the development, All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hanan Mullah said, "The government said in the meeting that by submitting affidavit in the court, it can put the law on pause for a year and a half. Meanwhile, we will go by the report that would be provided by the committee. Now all the farmers associations will discuss the government's proposal on January 21 and reply to the government on January 22. Also, the attitude of farmer leaders has always been positive."
Notably, the laws have already been stayed till further orders by the Supreme Court, which has formed a committee to resolve the deadlock. The committee, which had its first meeting on Tuesday, will begin its consultations with various stakeholders on Thursday. It has been asked to give its report in two months.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi for over a month now against the three laws -- the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act. Farmer groups have alleged these laws will end the mandi and MSP procurement systems and leave the farmers at the mercy of big corporates, even as the government has rejected these apprehensions as misplaced.