INDIA

Centre Should Accept Farmers Demands Without Delay: Gopal Rai

Mumbai:  Delhi Agriculture Minister Gopal Rai on Monday appealed to the Center to accept the demands of farmers protesting against the new Agri marketing laws and resolve the deadlock on the issue on priority.

He made this remark in a meeting convened by the Center to discuss farmer welfare.

The meeting was also attended by the Union MoSes from Agriculture Purushottam Rupala and Kailash Chaudhary and the Haryana Agriculture Minister, besides officials of the Government of Punjab and members of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

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He also raised the minimum support price (MSP) issues, besides requesting the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report and stopping the use of bio-decomposer developed by PUSA to prevent stubble burning across the country.

Referring to thousands of farmers sitting at various border points in Delhi in agitation against three recently enacted laws, Rai told reporters, “Farmers have been shivering in the cold for the last 11 days.”

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“The Center should not delay in accepting the farmers’ demands and resolve the deadlock on priority,” he said.

He also said that the central government should look into the bio-decomposer technology used by the Delhi government and try to stop the burning and implement it in all states.

“In the meeting, we discussed various initiatives for farmers and how their income can be increased. The central government should implement the Swaminathan Commission recommendations on the minimum support price (MSP).

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He said that in some states, the MSP is Rs 1,800 per quintal, but farmers are forced to sell their produce at Rs 800, Rs 900, or Rs 1,000 less.

“I have requested the central government to listen to the demands of the farmers and bring a law for the MSP. This will help all the farmers across the country.

“I have also asked the Center to listen to the demands of the farmers because for the last 11 days they have been sitting on the street this winter to protest. I have requested the Center to take any more delay on this issue avoid,” he said.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, are opposing the new agricultural laws at various border points in Delhi. Several rounds of talks between the Center and the farmers have failed to break the deadlock.

(With PTI Inputs)

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