Thursday, April 22

Supreme Court panel submits report on agriculture laws

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As agitating farmers refuse to let go of their demand for withdrawal of the three farm laws, a Supreme Court-appointed three-member panel has submitted its report to the court in a sealed cover on measures to end the deadlock.

The panel comprising Pramod Kumar Joshi (Director, South Asia international Food Policy), Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices Ashok Gulati submitted the report on March 19, sources said.

The fourth member of the panel, Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann, had recused himself.

The panel was asked to study the three farm laws, consult all stakeholders and submit its report in two months. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde – which had on January 12 stayed the implementation of the three laws till further orders and appointed a panel to suggest measures to end the stalemate – is expected to take up the matter on April 5.

The panel held 12 rounds of consultations with various stakeholders, including farmers’ groups, farmer producer organisations (FPOs), procurement agencies, professionals, academicians and private as well as state agriculture marketing boards.

The panel is said to have held consultations with 85 farmers’ organisations and other stakeholders to end the stalemate that has continued since November last year when thousands of agitating farmers blocked key entry points to the Capital.

It also held nine internal meetings before submitting its report. The government too has held several rounds of talks with farm leaders.