Repeal of farm laws 'unfortunate': SC panel member

Anil Ghanwat, a farm leader from Maharashtra and also one of the three members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm laws, said that after the repeal of new laws, the same old laws would come into force that had prevented better remunerative market for the farmers' produce.

Terming Union Government's decision to repeal the three farm laws as unfortunate, a member of the supreme court constituted panel has said that these laws were made for the benefit of both farmers and the country and it would have the freedom to the farmers to market their produce. 

Anil Ghanwat, a farm leader from Maharashtra and also one of the three members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm laws, said that after the repeal of new laws, the same old laws would come into force that had prevented better remunerative market for the farmers' produce.

Talking to news agency IANS, Ghanwat said that if cotton starts getting a good price, the government can bring it down by putting a stock limit using the Essential Commodities Act or it can also use the Foreign Trade Act to put an export ban.

However, his co-panelist Ashok Gulati gave a guarded response and said that he would wait for the recommendations by the committee that the prime minister has promised to set up for wider consultations.

"The Prime Minister has clearly said that the government wanted to do reforms for the betterment of the farmers, but failed to communicate properly to them. The proposed committee will have a wider consultation and hopefully will suggest more meaningful reforms. Let us wait for that," Ashok Gulati told news agency IANS.

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Coinciding with the auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced to repeal the three contentious farm laws passed by the Parliament last year, saying the constitutional process to repeal the laws would be taken up in the winter session of the Parliament starting November 29.

Modi also announced to form a committee comprising representatives of the Centre, state governments, farmers, agriculture scientists and agriculture economists to discuss how Minimum Support Price (MSP) can be made more effective, how zero budget farming can be promoted and how crop patterns can be changed in a scientific manner.

Ghanwat also said that he will be reaching Delhi, most likely on Monday, and first meet the other two members of the Supreme Court appointed committee.

"If possible, we would put out the report in the public domain," he said.

His co-panelist Ashok Gulati, however, had a guarded response.

The Supreme Court had appointed the three-member committee -- the third member being P.K. Joshi -- in January this year while staying the three farm laws.

The committee had submitted its report in March. However, since then neither did the apex court make use of any of its recommendations, nor was the report made public.

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In September, Ghanwat had written to the Chief Justice of India to release the report so that its recommendations could be used by the government for resolving the farmers' agitation.

The government had held several rounds of talks with the farmers, but neither side had budged.