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SKM raises objections to govt's proposal to end protest, decision on Wednesday

"The final decision will be taken at tomorrow's meeting after they get a reply from the government," the SKM said.
 

Published: 07th December 2021 06:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2021 09:11 PM   |  A+A-

Samyukta Kisan Morcha leaders and members at a meeting to decide their future course of action, at the Singhu border, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha leaders and members at a meeting to decide their future course of action, at the Singhu border, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmers' unions, has raised objections to the Centre's draft proposals on the pending issues of the farmers.

The five-member committee, set up by the SKM, has sought clarifications from the Centre on the proposals. The final decision on the fate of the farmers' protest will be taken after the SMK gets the reply from the government, on Wednesday.

After the Centre sent the draft proposals to the SKM committee on Tuesday, a meeting was held to discuss the proposals. Senior SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said, "The Union government sent written draft proposals regarding the pending issues. After reviewing the proposals, the SKM committee raised some objections to the draft and said it would send a few suggestions to the government."

The Centre has proposed the formation of a committee to look into the demand for a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP). The panel will be comprised of representatives from the central and state governments, agriculture experts and representatives of SKM and other farmers' organisations. We objected to the presence of representatives of other farmers' unions in the committee. The SKM has been spearheading this agitation for more than a year. And these people (other farmers' outfits) supported the government and were in favour of farm laws. Now, if they are made a part of the committee, then there will be difficulty in making a law on MSP. So, we want a clarification from the government on this," he said.

Rajiewal said the government's proposal further states that the cases against farmers will be withdrawn only after the farmers end their agitation. "The farmers are apprehensive about it. The government should immediately begin the procedure for the withdrawal of cases and set a fixed time. We would not accept the government's condition that criminal charges against farmers will be dropped after the agitation is called off. Cases were registered by police in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Chandigarh. The railway police have also filed cases against the protesting farmers," he said.

Another senior leader of the morcha Ashok Dhawal said, "We got the government proposals today afternoon from the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is not the last proposal by them and nor do we consider it to be the last one. There was discussion on the proposals and our fellow members gave constructive suggestions."

"The government has said that in principle they agreed to give compensation to the kin of 700 farmers who died during the agitation. We want the Centre to follow the Punjab model -- Rs 5 lakh compensation and a job to the kin," he said.

Dhawal said, "On the proposed electricity amendment bill, the government says after due deliberations with all the stakeholders it will take a call and table a bill in the Parliament. However, it is already listed as one of the bills to be presented in this session."

Dhawal further said: "On stubble burning, the government said there will be no criminal liability. But a few amendments made in the Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021 says those involved in stubble burning would be fined."

"The final decision will be taken at tomorrow's meeting after they get a reply from the government," the SKM said.

The members of the SKM panel are Balbir Singh Rajewal, Ashok Dhawle, Shiv Kumar Kakka, Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Yudhvir Singh.



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