Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 19
Under attack from the protesting unions for allegedly being pro-farm laws, the members of a committee formed by the Supreme Court to end the deadlock today held their first meeting and indicated a complete repeal won’t augur well for the much-needed agriculture reforms.
A key committee member and president of Maharashtra-based Shetkari Sanghatana, Anil Ghanwat, said the reforms were much needed and no political party in the next 50 years would ever attempt to push reforms again if these laws were repealed.
Ghanwat, however, said the panel would be unbiased in its approach and listen to all stakeholders, including those supporting and opposing the laws, state governments, marketing boards and cooperative societies, before submitting a report before the SC.
He said the laws implemented in the last 70 years were not in the interest of farmers and about 4.5 lakh farmers had committed suicide. “The farmers are getting poor and are under debt. Some changes are needed. Those changes were happening but the protests began. We will do our job with integrity and impartiality and try to convince the protesting farmers to depose before the committee,” he added.
The committee has scheduled its first round of consultations with the farmers and other stakeholders for Thursday. Agri-economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Joshi are the other members on the panel while BKU leader Bhupinder Singh Mann had recused himself following criticism. (With PTI inputs)