stayed the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders and constituted a four members Committee for the purpose of listening to the grievances of the farmers about the farm laws as well as the views of the Government and to make recommendations thereafter.he Supreme Court Tuesday
The Committee will comprise the following-
(1) Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President, Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee;
(2) Dr. Parmod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute;
(3) Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and Former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices; and
(4) Anil Ghanwat, President, Shetkari Sanghatana,
The Court also directed the Committee to submit its report within two months.
Minutes after the Court made the names of the Committee members’ public, a controversy regarding them broke out as the members’ views in support of the farm laws are already available in the public domain.
Punjab farmers’ union has announced that they do not accept this Committee.
“All the members in this committee have been pro-government and these members have been justifying the laws,” said Punjab farmers’ unions, declaring that they would amp up their protests across the country.
While the protesting farmers have been demanding total scrapping of the farm laws, the four members have already expressed their views in support of the law subject to some amendments.
Committee Members and their views
Ashok Gulati, an Indian agricultural economist, in his opinion piece published in the Indian Express supported the three farm laws. He wrote that the economic rationale of these pieces of legislation was to provide greater choice and freedom to farmers to sell their produce and to buyers to buy and store, thereby creating competition in agricultural marketing.
Gulati even compared these pieces of legislation to the de-licensing of the industry in 1991.
Gulati who is a Padma Shri recipient is the Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).
Pramod Kumar Joshi, who served as Director, South Asia Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) also holds an opinion in support of the farm laws. In his opinion piece published in ‘Financial Express’, he stressed that any dilution in the farm laws will constrain Indian agriculture in harnessing emerging global opportunities.
“The new farm laws will help India emerge as a leader in agriculture and agro-processing. They are also expected to build a new crop of agri-tech start-ups and innovation hubs in the farm sector,” Joshi said.
The Head of All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC), Bhupinder Singh Mann, has been demanding implementation of the farm laws. Last month, a group of farmers led by Mann handed over a memorandum to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Krishi Bhawan demanding that the three laws be implemented, with some amendments.
“Reforms are needed in order to make agriculture competitive. But safeguards are needed to protect farmers, and anomalies must also be corrected,” Mann told The Hindu.
As reported by The Hindu, Mann wanted amendments to ensure judicial recourse and a level playing field between private and state-run markets.
Anil Dhanawat of the Shetkari Sanghatana also supported the farm laws conditionally. He sought some amendments in the laws.
Speaking to The Leaflet, senior advocate Mohan Katarki said that the Committee is colourless. But the setting up a Committee to examine the rationality or irrationality of impugned law is a new legal development.