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Farmers Resume Delhi March Today After Snubbing Centre’s Offer: 10 Points



Farmers Resume Delhi March Today After Snubbing Centre's Offer: 10 Points

Farmers Resume Delhi March Today After Snubbing Centre’s Offer: 10 Points

Protesting farmers and the government met in Chandigarh Sunday evening for a fourth round of talks, from which the five-year, A2+FL+ 50 per cent contract offer emerged.

New Delhi: Farmers demanding legal backing for MSP, or minimum support price, and calling for it to include all 23 listed cash crops, resume their march on Delhi today, after rejecting the offer of a five-year contract to buy only pulses, maize, and cotton.

Here are the Top 10 points in this big story:

  1. On Monday evening farmer leaders snubbed the government’s offer to buy maize, cotton, and three types of pulses – toor, urad, and masoor – at the old MSP. They said it did not make sense as it applied to only a few crops, and ignored those growing the other 18.
  2. The farmers said the price – based on the A2+FL+50 per cent formula (MSP at 1.5 times direct costs, such as seeds and fertilisers, and unpaid family labour), and not the Swaminathan Commission’s C2+50 per cent formula (which includes rent for farm land, or the rental value of owned land) – would be “subsistence” payments and not “income”.
  3. They were also unhappy with a clause that said MSP would only be for those opting for crop diversification, meaning they must plant crops cleared by the government to be eligible for the support price. “We have, thus, decided to reject the proposal…”
  4. The offer followed four rounds of talks in Chandigarh between farmer leaders and the government, which was represented by three union ministers, including Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, who has said “unruly elements are trying to hijack talks”.
  5. The farmers – who number around a lakh – are at Shambhu on the Punjab-Haryana border and have held station there since last week, while all sides try to negotiate a deal and avoid a repeat of the violent protests in 2020/21. That now seems unlikely.
  6. Between them and Delhi lie around 200 km of fortified highways, including concrete barriers, barbed wire fences, and even nail strips to stop tractors from pushing past. Drone footage presents a startling picture – akin to prepping for an ‘invasion’ of the city.
  7. Security around Delhi has been heightened, with key border crossings, including Ghazipur, Tikri, Noida, and Singhu blocked with rows of metal and cement barriers. Delhi Police have also imposed a month-long ban on public gatherings under Section 144.
  8. The farmers have said their march will be a peaceful one. “We want to appeal to the government to not use force against us,” one farmer told NDTV. They are, however, in this for the long haul and have come with food and provisions for six months.
  9. Apart from recalculating MSPs and ensuring a legal guarantee, the farmers also want farm loan waivers, no hike in electricity tariffs, and withdrawal of 2020/21 police cases.
  10. They also want a public sector crop insurance scheme and a monthly pension of ₹ 10,000 to farmers over the age of 60. Finally, they also want junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra Teni to be prosecuted in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

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