Chandigarh: With the personal intervention of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, the Union government and farmers reached a consensus over various issues during the first round of deliberations on Thursday night.
The meeting was held here at the MGSIPA complex and was attended by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda, and Nityanand, besides the Chief Minister and representatives of various farmer’s unions.
Mr. Mann said during the first round of talks, a consensus emerged on rolling back the cases registered against farmers during the agitation against draconian laws. He said that the deliberations were held in a congenial atmosphere, and the Union Ministers gave their in-principle approval to sympathetically consider the demands of the farmers. He said that exemplary punishment was sought against the manufacturers of the spurious seeds so that the interests of the food growers were safeguarded, adding that the issue of paddy straw burning was also vehemently raised.
He, while presenting the case of the farmers strongly, batted for continuing the MSP regime on the crops by asserting that it is the need of the hour to secure the interests of the farmers. He said that the withdrawal of MSP is a figment of the imagination of only the armchair economists, who sit in their cosy offices in the national capital without bothering about the ground realities. Mr. Mann said that any such move to discontinue the MSP regime would jeopardise the food security of the country and is not in the interest of the nation.
Dwelling on another issue, he also batted for giving a major push to crop diversification in the country, as it will be beneficial for the people. He said that the country today imports pulses from countries like Mozambique and others, whereas if farmers get remunerative prices, then they can produce these pulses here. Mr. Mann said that this will save the foreign reserves of the country besides bringing the farmers out of the rut of the paddy circle, thereby saving the precious water in the state.
Profusely thanking the Union government and farmers for coming to the table to discuss the issues, the CM said that this is the right platform for solving the issues. He said that we too don’t want that agitation to take place on these issues, adding that rather, these matters must be sorted out through bilateral dialogue. Mr. Mann expressed hope that more such discussions will take place in the coming times in the greater interests of the farmers and the people.