Supreme Court-appointed panel was against repealing 3 farm laws

NEW DELHI: A Supreme Court-appointed panel to study the three farm laws, which was scrapped by Parliament in November last year, had recommended that the three legislations should not be repealed saying they would be beneficial to farmers.

The report, which was submitted to the apex court on March 19, 2021, was made public on Monday.

The three-member committee had also suggested many changes in the laws, including giving freedom to states to make Minimum Support Price (MSP) system legal.

Anil Ghanwat, one of the members of the panel, released the findings of the report at a press conference in the national capital.

“On March 19, 2021, we submitted the report to the Supreme Court. We wrote letters to the apex court three times requesting it to release the report. But we did not get any response,” Ghanwat, who is the president of Swatantra Bharat Party, said.

“I am releasing this report today. The three laws have been repealed. So there is no relevance now,” he said.

According to him, the report would help in making policies for the agriculture sector in future.

Ghanwat said the committee had said in its report that a “repeal or a long suspension of these laws would be unfair to the silent majority who support the farm laws”.

Out of the 73 farmer organisations that made submissions to the committee, 61 representing 3.3 crore farmers supported the farm laws, he noted.

Further, Ghanwat said 40 unions, which had organised agitations against the laws under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), did not make any submission despite repeated requests.

The two other members of the committee are Ashok Gulati, agri-economist and former chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, and Pramod Kumar Joshi, also an agri-economist.

On November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation announced the withdrawal of the three farm laws, saying the government could not convince protesting farmers about the benefits of the agriculture sector reforms.

The three laws – Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act were repealed.

The repealing of the three farm legislations was one of the key demands of around 40 farmer unions protesting against these reforms at Delhi borders.

The protest started at the fag-end of November 2020 and ended after Parliament repealed the three laws. The legislations had come into force in June 2020 and were repealed in November 2021.

Source: Press Trust of India

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