The Union cabinet is likely to take up ‘The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021’ for approval when it meets on Wednesday, according to reports.
The central government has listed the bill in the legislative business to be taken up in Lok Sabha during the winter session of parliament.
The repeal bill is aimed at rolling back three agri laws passed last year – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
This comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the withdrawal of the contentious laws that farmers have been protesting against for a year now.
Although the move has been welcomed by farmer leaders, they have maintained that the protesters will not budge until the laws are formally repealed in the parliament.
In addition to this, farmer unions have said that they will continue their agitation till the government starts talks with them on their six demands, including a law guaranteeing MSP.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) – an umbrella body of around 20 farmers’ unions – has also said that they will go ahead with their planned march to parliament on 29 November to observe one year of anti-farm law protests.
In an open letter to PM Modi, the SKM thanked him for the repeal of the three farm laws, but noted that “after 11 rounds of talks, you chose the path of unilateral declaration rather than a bilateral solution”.
They put forwards six demands, including that MSP based on the comprehensive cost of production be made a legal entitlement for all agricultural produce, sacking and arrest of Union minister of state for home Ajay Mishra in connection with Lakhimpur Kheri incident, withdrawal of cases against farmers and building of a memorial for those who lost their lives during the agitation.
Mishra’s son was arrested in the case of the death of four protesting farmers in an incident in Lakhimpur Kheri in UP in October.
They also sought removal of penal provisions on farmers in the “Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021” and withdrawal the draft “Electricity Amendments Bill, 2020/2021” proposed by the government.
Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal earlier said at a press conference at the Singhu border of Delhi, one of the anti-farm law protest sites, that the SKM will again hold a meeting on 27 November to decide the future course of action.