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SKM should join the govt-appointed panel to shape agri policy

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Business Standard Editorial Comment | MSP | minimum support price

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  Mumbai 



The refusal of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which spearheaded the year-long protests on Delhi’s borders against the three Central farm laws, to join the 29-member committee formed by the government to make minimum support prices (MSPs) more effective and transparent is wholly unwarranted. Setting up such a panel, apart from repealing the controversial laws, was among the terms agreed to by the SKM for ending its agitation in November last year. Now that the government has, as part of its commitment, announced the panel, the SKM has decided to boycott it. The main reasons cited by it in support of this move are that the proposed committee is packed with government loyalists and supporters of the controversial statutes and that some extraneous issues like crop diversification and natural farming have been added to its agenda. The SKM wanted the committee to concentrate exclusively on making legally binding. These pleas, regardless of their merit, are hard to uphold because any such panel would be incomplete without the representation of viewpoints of all sections of the farmers, including those who differed with the protestors. The stir, it is worth recalling, was sustained primarily by the from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, with little participation from other regions of the country. Many farmers’ bodies of southern states had, in fact, supported the proposed marketing reforms.

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First Published: Sun, July 24 2022. 21:31 IST

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