Business Standard

Centre has no record of meetings with farmers' groups: RTI query

The Centre has stated that it has no records of any kind pertaining to meetings or discussions with farmers' organisations before finalising the three farm bills, an activist said

FARMERS PROTEST

Farmers raise slogans during their protest against the farm laws at Singhu Border, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

IANS Mumbai
In a surprise revelation under the RTI, the Centre has stated that it has no records of any kind pertaining to meetings or discussions with farmers' organisations before finalising the three farm bills, an activist said here on Thursday.
Mumbai-based RTI activist and social campaigner Jatin Desai had filed a query with the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare seeking details of the same.
"I had posed three simple queries on how many meetings were held with the farmers organisations before the three farm Ordinances were promulgated, where these took place or who was invited for them, and also how many meetings conducted to discuss the draft laws between the Ordinances and passing of the bills in Parliament," Desai told IANS.
However, the concerned department's CPIO merely replied saying: "This CPIO does not hold any record in this matter."
Desai says the response is misleading and incomplete and he has filed an appeal against the same, to find out if the consultations were held or not and whether the records/minutes of the same are maintained or not.
"How can such significant laws with immense ramifications for the country's agriculture and economy be passed without holding any consultations with the farmers and other stakeholders, as it appears from the CPIO's reply," he demanded.
However, if the CPIO's reply is indeed correct that there are no records maintained of such crucial confabulations, then it was even more serious as it conveys the impression that the laws 'were pushed through arbitrarily' without talking to all concerned, especially those who are directly impacted by it like the country's agriculture community. Desai pointed out.
In view of the massive farmers' agitation currently underway outside Delhi and adjoining states, he urged the Agriculture Department to come out with the actual facts in the matter at the earliest in public interest.
--IANS
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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Dec 24 2020 | 3:30 PM IST

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