NEW DELHI: Amid continuing farmer protests, the government has acceded to their demand of decriminalising stubble burning. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said this on Saturday and urged farmer groups to end agitations, saying that the government has listed the farm repeal law for the first day of the winter session of Parliament on November 29.
He said the other demand of farmers was a discussion on the minimum support price (MSP) and crop diversification. This demand will also be fulfilled with the setting up of a panel, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19. On withdrawal of cases against farmers during the agitation, Tomar said this is the domain of state governments.
“Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will move for leave to introduce a Bill to repeal the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation Act) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955,” stated the Lok Sabha’s list of business for November 29.
To repeal a law, a new law has to be enacted and a specific repealing clause has to be added to it. Therefore, the amendment bill for the three farm laws will have to be tabled in Parliament the same way as any other bill. Once both houses pass the bill, it will be ratified by the President and the previous act will be withdrawn.
Farmers believe the three laws passed last September will benefit large corporations and hurt their livelihood. Observing that there is no point in continuing with protests after the announcement of the repeal of three farm laws, Tomar urged the protestors to end their agitation and return home. “The farmers’ demand was to decriminalise stubble burning. The government has agreed to this demand,” the minister said.
With regard to the withdrawal of cases, Tomar said, “Looking at the severity of the cases, the state governments have to take a call and the issue of compensation is also to be decided by them,” he said. In addition to this, the states can also consider granting compensation to the families of those who were killed in the protests, said Tomar. “I appeal to all farmers' organisations to end the protest ethically and show their big heart. They should return to their homes,” the minister said in his address.