Differences between farmers and govt over farm laws can be resolved by talks: Expert
Ludhiana, June 09: The three farm laws cannot be scrapped directly by the government without introducing a repeal bill in Parliament, an agricultural expert said on Wednesday.
Holding the laws in abeyance and talking over them across the table are the only solutions to the problem, Dr S S Johal, a noted agriculture expert and adviser to four previous prime ministers. said.
Dr Johal, 94, who is a recipient of Padma Bhushan in 2004 rued that none of the senior statesmen came forward to mediate or make a serious attempt to help the two sides in resolving the differences over the laws between the agitating farmers and the central government.
He said, ''It is a sorry state of affairs that the political leaders of the day in Punjab are only small, part-time politicians having their eyes fixed on nothing but the vote banks.'' Neither anybody came out in any sympathy with the farmers nor did anybody try to assuage their hurt feelings or discuss the problems with them with an open mind to educate them and to find some way out, said Johal.
He suggested to the farmers that instead of harping on the repeal of the three laws, they should prepare a pointwise list of their demands and specifically come out with provisions they want to modify, delete, change or add to the existing laws.
''I am sad that farmers are still passing through bad times, facing hardships, committing suicides and being exploited by different political parties for their vested agenda," Dr Johal said.
"A lot still needs to be done to mitigate the farmers' sufferings and give them their due price for their products," he added.
He also held the central government responsible for allegedly failing to explain its stand properly and showing undue haste in enacting the three laws. They should have held detailed discussions with all stakeholders before bringing in these laws, he said.
Scores of farmers have been camping at Delhi's borders since November last year demanding the repeal of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and the enactment of a new law to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.
The government, however, has maintained that the laws are pro-farmer.
Several rounds of talks between farmers and the government have failed to break the deadlock over these laws.
The government last held talks with farmer leaders on January 22. The talks between the two sides came to a halt after the January 26 tractor rally by farmers in Delhi turned violent.