Responding to the opposition’s question on giving financial aid to relatives of farmers who died during the year-long protest, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that they had no record in the matter and that the question therefore did not arise.
The government told parliament that it had “no record” of farmers who lost their lives camping out at the Delhi borders in protest against the three controversial agricultural laws and so is out of the question. to provide financial assistance to their families.
However, this is one of the main demands of the protesting farmers after the repeal of the three agricultural laws.
In a written response to the opposition’s demand on whether the Center will provide financial assistance to families of farmers who died during the year-long protest, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said : “The Ministry of Agriculture has no file on the matter and therefore the question does not arise.
However, according to farmers’ unions, more than 700 farmers have died while protesting against agricultural laws (which have now been repealed) at the borders of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur since November 2020. The deaths are largely due the fact that the restless farmers had conducted their sit-ins in cold and harsh weather, and had become ill from the unsanitary conditions, while a few others had committed suicide.
Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is an umbrella body for 41 farmers’ unions, has called on the government to come to the table and discuss all outstanding issues with farm leaders, according to a report. from India Today. The farmers have not yet given up their fight.
Read also : Will not quash protests; Let’s talk about MSP next: farmers’ unions at the Center
Although the Farm Law Repeal Bill was passed in Lok Sabha, SKM said farmers will continue to protest until the government accepts their request to provide a legal guarantee for the price of minimum support (MSP). They also called for police charges against protesting farmers to be withdrawn and for compensation to be paid to relatives of farmers who died during the protests.
SKM had confirmed that the Center had sought five names from farmers’ unions for the panel to discuss the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and their other demands.
On whether the Center had held discussions with farmers to reach consensus on the three agricultural laws, in his written response, the Union Minister said that the government had held 11 rounds of negotiations with the farmers. farmers’ unions agitated to solve problems. and they had actively engaged with the protesting farmers.
The opposition also raised the issue of the implementation of PSM for agricultural products. To this, Tomar replied that the Center had announced the MSP for 22 cash crops during the rabi and kharif seasons on the recommendation of the Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission (CACP). Central and state government agencies purchase the crops from the MSP from farmers, resulting in an increase in the selling price of the various reported crops.
The Center also implemented the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) to provide MSP to farmers. In his response, the Union Minister pointed out that under the PM-AASHA, States / UTs are offered to choose either the Price Support Scheme (PSS) and the Price Insufficiency Payment Scheme ( PDPS) in a given supply season for a particular oilseed crop for the entire state. “Legumes and copra are purchased under PSS. Only one system, ie PSS or PDPS, can be made operational in a state for a product, ”he said.
In addition, states have the option of deploying the Private Supply and Stockiest Program (PPSS) on a pilot basis in selected districts / APMCs of districts, which will involve the participation of a private stockist for oilseeds. In addition, wheat paddy and coarse grains are purchased under existing schemes from the Food and Public Distribution Department, while cotton is purchased under existing schemes from the Textiles Ministry, said. the Union Minister in his response.