Will keep our personal views aside, assure SC-appointed panel members

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2021

Panel members PK Joshi, Anil Ghanwat and Ashok Gulati addressing the media after their first meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday   -  PTI

To hear views of States governments, marketing boards, FPOs and individuals

The first meeting of the Supreme Court-appointed panel to discuss with the farmers protesting against the three farm reform laws, and the Centre, was held here on Tuesday.

The three members, former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices Ashok Gulati, Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat and Former Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute Pramod Joshi participated in the meeting.

Another member, farmers leader Bhupinder Singh Mann, had recused from the panel earlier.

The protesting farmers’ organisations had said earlier that they will not participate in the discussions with the panel.

Meanwhile, the next meeting of the Centre and the farmers is scheduled for Wednesday.

The panel, according to a press release, discussed the roadmap of activities for the Committee for two months so that recommendations can be prepared after discussion with farmers and their representatives and other stakeholders.

Talking to media after the meeting Ghanwat said as per the direction of the Supreme Court, the Committee will hold discussion with farmers and farmers’ bodies in the country who are both for and against the farm laws.

To meet all stakeholders

“The Committee will also hold discussions with State Governments, State Marketing Boards and other stakeholders such as Farmer Producer Organisations, and cooperatives. The Committee will soon send invitations to the farmers unions and associations to discuss their views on farm laws. Even individual farmers can submit views on the portal to be notified soon,” he said.

The Committee added in the release that it is keen to understand the opinion of all concerned so that it can give suggestions which will definitely be in the interests of the farmers.

The protesting farmers had alleged that all the members in the panel are in favour of the three farm laws. Ghanwat said the biggest challenge before the panel is to convince the agitating farmers to speak with it. “We will try our level best and we will definitely want to speak with them,” he said, and added that the members will not be one-sided. “Panel members will keep their personal views on farm laws aside while preparing a report to be submitted to the Supreme Court. Our duty is to listen to both sides and not impose our ideology,” he said.

Published on January 19, 2021

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