New Delhi, March 21
The Supreme Court-appointed panel was against total repeal of the three farm laws and had suggested leaving procurement of crops at a specified price to states and scrapping the Essential Commodities Act, Anil Ghanwat, who was on the three-member panel, said on Monday.
- Leave procurement of crops at specified price to states
- Scrap Essential Commodities Act
- Give freedom to states to make MSP system legal
- End open-ended procurement policy
Releasing the committee’s report, Ghanawat, a Pune-based farm leader, said bilateral interactions of the committee with the stakeholders demonstrated that only 13.3 per cent of the stakeholders were against the three laws.
“Around 85.7 per cent of the farmer organisations, representing over 3.3 crore farmers, supported the laws,” Ghanawat said, adding the report would help in making policies for the agriculture sector in future.
The other two members, economist Ashok Gulati and agri-economist Pramod Kumar Joshi, were not present at the press conference here.
Ghanawat said he had on three occasions written to the SC for releasing the report of the committee but in the absence of a response, he was releasing it on his own.
On November 19, 2021, the PM announced the withdrawal of the three farm laws, ahead of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Ghanwat said the committee had suggested many changes in the laws, including giving freedom to states to make MSP system legal. It had also suggested that the open-ended procurement policy should be discontinued and a model contract agreement should be formulated.
Ghanwat said 40 unions, which had organised agitations against the laws under the banner of SKM, did not make any submission despite repeated requests.
A concrete road map for gradual diversification from paddy to more sustainable high-value crops, especially in Punjab-Haryana belt, needed to be formulated, the panel said.
Ghanwat said he would soon come out with a discussion paper on agricultural policy and would also organise a rally in Delhi. On the farmer unions’ demand to legalise the MSP system, the panel said in its report that the demand was not based on sound logic and was infeasible to implement.
The committee recommended that procurement of crops at a declared MSP could be the prerogative of the states as per their specific agricultural policy priorities. —