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Govt tells farmer leaders a committee could be formed to deliberate on the demands regarding farm laws

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New Delhi, Dec 30: The Centre and farmer leaders are currently holding talks at the Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi over the three farm laws. The sixth round of talks between the two sides are being held after a considerable gap. The meeting between three union ministers and representatives of 41 farmer groups began at around 2.30 pm at Vigyan Bhawan.

Govt tells farmer leaders a committee could be formed to deliberate on the demands regarding farm laws

Tomar is heading the government side, which also included Goyal and Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab.

The sixth round of talks between the two sides is being held after a huge gap. The fifth round of talks was held on December 5.

The protesting farmer unions are sticking to their position that the discussions will only be on the modalities of repealing the three new agri laws and giving a legal guarantee on the MSP among other issues.

On Monday, the Centre invited the unions for the next round of talks on December 30 on all relevant issues to find a "logical solution" with an "open mind" to the prolonged impasse over the three new agri laws that were enacted in September.

Farmers-Centre meet underway: Will be decisive, says Minister

But in its letter on Tuesday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella organisation which represents the farmer unions, said the modalities for repealing the three contentious laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) must be part of the agenda.

The sixth round of talks was originally scheduled for December 9 but it was called off after an informal meeting of Home Minister Shah with some union leaders failed to reach any breakthrough.

The government had, however, followed up Shah's meeting with a draft proposal sent to these farmer unions in which it had suggested 7-8 amendments to the new laws and written assurance on the MSP procurement system. The government has ruled out a repeal of the three agri laws.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at various borders of the national capital for more than a month against these three new laws.

The government has presented these laws as major agriculture reforms aimed at helping farmers and increasing their income, but the protesting unions fear that the new legislations have left them at the mercy of big corporates by weakening the MSP and mandi systems.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middleman and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and mandi systems will stay and has accused the Opposition of misleading the farmers.

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