Farm laws

New Delhi, Feb 5: The Supreme Court-appointed committee on Friday said it held consultations with the heads of State marketing boards, private mandi operators and food parks from 10 States, including Kerala, on the controversial new farm laws against which farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders for over two months now.

This is the fifth meeting the panel held so far. The three-member committee is holding consultations with stakeholders both online and in person.

In a statement, the committee said it held a detailed discussion “in person” with managing directors, administrators, directors of State marketing boards, private mandi operators and food parks of different States and Union Territories.

These officials were from 10 States – Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.

The committee members requested the participants to give their views on the three farm laws. “All the stakeholders gave their valuable views and suggestions...,” the statement said.

In the previous meetings held on February 3 and 4, the committee said, “Representatives of few farmers’ unions participated in the meeting in person”.

The committee through video conference had also held detailed discussions with 32 different farmers’ organisations and farmer producers’ organisations from nine States including West Bengal. The other States were Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

The Supreme Court had earlier stayed the implementation of the three contentious farm laws for two months and asked the committee to submit a report within two months after consulting the concerned stakeholders.

Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi’s borders for over two months now seeking repeal of the new legislations, introduced by the Centre last year, saying they are pro-corporate and could weaken the mandi system.

The 11 rounds of the talks between the Centre and 41 protesting farmer unions has so far remained deadlocked even though the former has offered concessions including suspension of the legislations for 18 months which the unions have rejected. – PTI