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NEW DELHI: The demand for legalising procurement of crops at minimal help worth (MSP) shouldn’t be primarily based on sound logic and is infeasible to implement, the Supreme Courtroom-appointed committee has stated in its report, which had additionally flagged how the repeal of the three farm legal guidelines, enacted in 2020, can be “unfair to the silent majority” who supported it.
The report, made public by one of many committee members, Anil Ghanwat, on Monday, famous that round two-third of over 19,000 respondents to its detailed questionnaire had, in actual fact, supported the farm legal guidelines (now repealed), contemplating its advantages to farmers and general farm sector throughout the nation.
Although the 40 farmer unions, together with 32 from Punjab, that had protested towards the three farm legal guidelines neither appeared earlier than the SC-appointed panel nor responded to its questionnaire, 61 of the 73 farm organisations the committee interacted with “absolutely supported” the legal guidelines whereas seven others supported it with sure modifications.
The report by the three-member committee was submitted to the SC on March 19 final yr. The apex courtroom had, nevertheless, not made the report public. In the meantime, the federal government underneath the strain from the 40 farmer unions had obtained the farm legal guidelines repealed by Parliament in November final yr. The three legal guidelines had been enacted by the federal government in 2020 to develop aggressive agricultural markets by permitting sale of farm produce outdoors state-regulated markets, scale back transaction prices, and improve the farmers’ share within the realised worth of an agricultural produce.
“I wrote letters to the apex courtroom thrice requesting it to launch the report. However we didn’t get any response. I’ve determined to make the report public because the farm legal guidelines have already been repealed and due to this fact there isn’t any relevance to it now,” stated Ghanwat, president of Swatantra Bharat Party, whereas releasing the report.
However regardless of the 98-page report stated on MSP has extra relevance now when the farmer organisations proceed to pitch for demanding a authorized assure and determined to step up their wrestle for it.
The panel even stated the MSP and procurement help coverage, as was designed for cereals through the Inexperienced Revolution time, must be revisited given that massive surpluses of wheat and rice have emerged. It beneficial many adjustments, which the federal government might discover helpful whereas taking calls on different facets of procurement of crops at MSP.
The panel, comprising farm economists Ashok Gulati P Okay Joshi as two different members, beneficial that the procurement of crops at a declared MSP will be the prerogative of the states as per their particular agricultural coverage priorities.
For wheat and rice, it instructed that there needs to be a cap on procurement, which is commensurate with the wants of the Public Distribution System (PDS). “The financial savings from this capping on wheat and rice procurement could also be utilised to reinforce prize stabilisation funds for different commodities akin to nutri-cereals, pulses, oilseeds and even onion and potatoes on open market ideas,” stated the panel.
The committee additionally spoke about the necessity to have a concrete roadmap for gradual diversification from paddy to extra sustainable high-value crops, particularly in Punjab-Haryana belt. It stated the roadmap must be formulated with satisfactory budgetary assets by the central authorities and the respective state governments collectively.
Broad suggestions & observations on now repealed farm legal guidelines:

  1. Repeal or an extended suspension of the farm legal guidelines can be unfair to the ‘silent’ majority who help the farm legal guidelines
  2. States possibly allowed some flexibility in implementation and design of the legal guidelines
  3. Different mechanisms for dispute settlement, by way of civil courts or arbitration mechanism, could also be offered to stakeholders
  4. An Agriculture Advertising Council on traces of the GST Council to be created to watch and streamline the implementation of the farm legal guidelines
  5. Govt ought to take pressing steps in the direction of strengthening agricultural infrastructure

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