Farmers Reject Centre’s Proposal, To Continue Delhi March From Wednesday

The borders around Delhi are likely to witness a showdown again from Wednesday as protesting farmers have rejected the government’s proposal of a five-year contract to buy three types of pulses, maize, and cotton at the old minimum support price. 

The announcement by the protesting farmers came hours after the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organisation of farmer unions which is not part of the current protests, also criticised the MSP proposal. 

Addressing a press conference at the Shambhu border, between Punjab and Haryana, on Monday, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher declared that the proposal is not acceptable to them and the protesting farmers will resume their march towards Delhi in a peaceful manner from Wednesday. 

A similar announcement was made by farmer Jagjit Singh Dallewal, who said in Hindi, “The government made the proposal (on Sunday night) and we have studied it. It doesn’t make sense for the MSP to apply to only two or three crops and for the other farmers to be left to fend for themselves.”

“The honourable minister said yesterday that if the government guarantees MSP on daals (split pulses), it will put an additional burden of Rs 1.5 lakh crore. A study by (former Agricultural Price Commission chairman) Prakash Kammardi has, however, revealed that the total cost will be Rs 1.75 lakh crore for all crops,” he added.

Pointing out that the government spends Rs 1.75 lakh crore to import palm oil into the country, which he claimed is harmful to the health of the people, he said the same amount could be spent on helping farmers grow oilseeds on which an MSP could be declared. 

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