Farmer leader Pandher asks Centre to bring ordinance to give legal guarantee for MSP

    The Hawk
    February17/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The demand is critical as farmers continue their protest at Shambhu and Khanauri points, pressing for their various demands. The fourth round of talks between Union ministers and farm leaders is scheduled amid unresolved issues, including MSP.

    Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher

    Chandigarh: Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher on Saturday demanded that the Centre should bring an ordinance on giving a legal guarantee to MSP, a key demand of farmers currently camping at the Shambhu and the Khanauri points of the Punjab-Haryana border.

    The demand comes a day before the fourth round of talks between farm leaders and Union ministers over their various demands.

    "If it (Centre) brings out an ordinance, it can bring it overnight, if it wants to. If the government wants a resolution of the farmers' protest, then it should bring an ordinance with immediate effect that it will enact a law on MSP, then discussions can proceed further," Pandher told reporters at the Shambhu border.

    As far as the modalities are concerned, Pandher said any ordinance has a six-month validity.

    On the issue of farm debt waiver, Pandher said the government is saying that the loan amount has to be assessed. The government can collect data from banks in this regard, he said adding, "It is a question of will power." Union ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai and farmer leaders will meet on Sunday for the fourth round of talks. The two sides met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15 but those talks remained inconclusive.

    On the fifth day of their 'Delhi Chalo' march -- called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha -- the farmers stayed put at the two border points of Punjab and Haryana as they press the Centre to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

    Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and 'justice' for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act - 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.