No MSP committee until Centre clarifies mandate: SKM

Farmers refuse to nominate representatives for the committee until the GoI clarifies its intentions through the committee

No MSP committee until Centre clarifies mandate

Farmers body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on April 1, 2022 said it will not send its nominees to form an MSP committee until the Centre answers questions about the committee’s mandate and terms of reference (TOR).

Recalling latest conversation with the government, SKM Coordination Committee member Yudhvir Singh said he received a call from Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal on March 22. He invited two to three names from the SKM to form the committee with government officials.

The call came after farmers ‘Vishwasghat Diwas’ (Betrayal Day) January 31 that condemned the non-implementation of the government’s assurances. However, farmer leaders said the call did not clarify crucial details about the committee such as its members, mandate, TOR and procedures.

“The SKM expects that the committee must be formed on clear and agreed terms, and demands a clarification on the details of the committee. Unless we are fully aware of the nature and agenda of this committee, it would not be worthwhile to participate in any such committee,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal in an SKM statement.

Accordingly, the body sent an email to Agarwal March 24 to ask:

1. What will be the TOR of this committee?

2. Apart from the SKM, which other organizations, individuals and office bearers will be included in this committee?

3. Who will be the Chairperson and what will be its functioning?

4. How much time will the committee get to submit its report?

5. Whether the recommendation of the committee will be binding on the government? the exact TOR, involvement of non-SKM organisations, individuals and office bearers, appointment of Chairperson and their functioning, deadline for committee report and the recommendation will be binding on the government.

“The letter was resent on March 30. However, no communication has been received till date,” said SKM leader Hannan Mollah.

The letter of assurance was first given to the SKM by the government on December 9, 2021. After that, the government used the pretext of Model Code of Conduct to defend its inaction, although the MCC does not prohibit implementation of pre-announced decisions.

As such, farmers accused the government of taking no steps whatsoever to form the MSP committee and discuss farmers demands.


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