Highlighting the significance of farm reforms, one of the members from the SC-designated panel on farm laws, Anil Ghanwat, on Tuesday guaranteed that there were numerous farmers in the country who were agreeable to the reform and said he would bring for a day around one lakh farmers from various states to Delhi following a couple of months to show their eagerness for reforms.
He although clarified that the reforms must be participatory, unlike what the centre did while bringing the three laws, as “reforms which affect a large number of people require broad-based consensus”.
“There are no shortcuts to good public policy. Had the government consulted with farmers and educated them systematically in advance of making the laws, the outcome would have been quite different,” he said, head of the Maharashtra-based farmer association Shetkari Sanghatana and leader of the Swatantra Bharat Party.
He proposed that the government should this time set up a panel with representation of all views , and the panel should to set up a “white paper” that thinks about expenses and advantages of choices after more extensive consultations.
“The legislation resulting from such a process would be acceptable to India’s long-suffering farmers,” said Ghanwat while addressing a press conference together with former IAS official Sanjeev Sabhlok who subsequent to resigning from administration helped in establishing of the Swarna Bharat Party.
Sabhlok said both Swatantra Bharat Party, driven by Ghanwat, and Swarna Bharat Party would merge into a solitary political entity and may challenge the UP Assembly polls next year.
On the subject of legitimate assurance to acquirement of crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP) as being requested by Samyukta Kisan Morcha – a joint collection of farmer unions protesting for their demand – Ghanwat said he was not against the MSP essentially, but rather it will not be possible to go for an ‘open-ended’ procurement and that too for all crops under a legal framework.
“It would also be discriminatory if you look at crops which are not in the list of the 23 crops being considered for MSP. What would happen to the farmers who would like to produce onion or other horticultural crops? There is no MSP for onion or many other crops which are being produced by farmers in different states. How would their interests be safeguarded? If MSP is legalised, all farmers will demand it. It will, therefore, not be realistic,” Ghanwat said.
He likewise noticed that even at the current degree of procurement, the government has obtained almost 110 lakh huge tonnes of food grains against the need of 41 lakh tonnes for buffer stock. “What would happen to the surplus? Where would you keep it?” Ghanwat asked.