India's farmers end year-long protest

Government agreed to set up panel to consider crop support prices
calendar icon 11 December 2021
clock icon 7 minute read

The government will set up a panel of growers and government officials to find ways of ensuring Minimum Support Prices (MSP), as the guaranteed rates are called, for all farm produce, according to the letter seen by Reuters.

The government now buys mainly rice and wheat at such guaranteed prices, benefiting barely 6% of India's millions of farmers.

Farmers' outstanding demands included retracting legal cases filed against the protesting growers and compensation for the families of those who died during the protest.

State administrations have agreed to the demands, according to the government letter addressed to farm union leaders.

Farmers had also asked the government to withdraw a draft of a proposed electricity bill, which they feared would lead to state governments withdrawing their right to free or subsidised power, used mainly for irrigation.

The government will discuss the draft with farmers.

Growers had also called for dropping fines and other penalties for burning crop waste, a major source of pollution, and the government has assured farmers that they would be not be held criminally liable for crop waste burning.

After calling off the protest, some farmers started removing makeshift tents and began loading their belongings into trucks and tractor trolleys.

While Modi's retreat has cheered farmers, economists fear that the repeal of the laws aimed at deregulating produce markets will starve the farm sector of much-needed private investment and saddle the government with budget-sapping subsidies for years.

The government will set up a panel of growers and government officials to find ways of ensuring Minimum Support Prices (MSP), as the guaranteed rates are called, for all farm produce, according to the letter seen by Reuters.

The government now buys mainly rice and wheat at such guaranteed prices, benefiting barely 6% of India's millions of farmers.

Farmers' outstanding demands included retracting legal cases filed against the protesting growers and compensation for the families of those who died during the protest.

State administrations have agreed to the demands, according to the government letter addressed to farm union leaders.

Farmers had also asked the government to withdraw a draft of a proposed electricity bill, which they feared would lead to state governments withdrawing their right to free or subsidised power, used mainly for irrigation.

The government will discuss the draft with farmers.

Growers had also called for dropping fines and other penalties for burning crop waste, a major source of pollution, and the government has assured farmers that they would be not be held criminally liable for crop waste burning.

After calling off the protest, some farmers started removing makeshift tents and began loading their belongings into trucks and tractor trolleys.

While Modi's retreat has cheered farmers, economists fear that the repeal of the laws aimed at deregulating produce markets will starve the farm sector of much-needed private investment and saddle the government with budget-sapping subsidies for years.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.