According to the Times of India, the Supreme Court of India issued a judicial order on the 12th, demanding the suspension of the implementation of the three controversial new agricultural bills, and decided to establish a chairman of the Indian Farmers’ Union Mann and Gan Watt, the head of the Maharashtra Farmers’ Organization.
Josh, director of the South Asia region of the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the agricultural economist Gurati, a team of four experts are designed to resolve the current impasse between the government and protesting farmers.
The expert investigation team will hear farmers’ grievances and opinions on the new bill, report to the Supreme Court after knowing the truth, and be accountable only to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Balder said.
Last September, three new agricultural bills passed by the Indian Parliament called for the relaxation of regulations on the sale, pricing, storage and other links of agricultural products to allow private enterprises to purchase directly from farmers.
The bill was intended to boost Indian agriculture, but a large number of farmers feared losses if they would lose government support for the protection price of agricultural products, causing hundreds of thousands of farmers to “encircle” the Indian capital New Delhi to protest at the end of November last year, demanding that the authorities withdraw the bill.
So far, the government has held eight rounds of negotiations with the protesting peasant representatives, but the dialogue has been deadlocked due to the farmers’ firm attitude and refusal to give in.
According to the Indian Express, although the Supreme Court has decided to put three new agricultural bills on hold, protesting farmers’ leaders do not seem to buy it, stressing that the protests will only stop if the government repeals the bill, and accusing that the expert investigation team members of being supporters of the new agriculture bill.
However, the Times of India reported that there are also many migrant workers’ union organizations supporting the implementation of the new agricultural bill.
The Farmers’ Union of India said it hoped that the new law would be implemented as soon as possible, because “these reforms will remove the intermediaries’ restraint and exploitation of farmers and ultimately bring benefits to farmers”.
But Bald said half-jokingly in an interview that “every migrant worker union claims to represent countless farmers, and if they add up, it may have more people than India.”
Kumar, a former official of the Agriculture Bureau of Uttar Pradesh, India, said in an interview with our reporter that the new bill did not actually abolish the government’s protection mechanism for agriculture and the minimum purchase price, “the protest against the public’s fears are somewhat unfounded”.
He believes that behind many protest farmers are vested interests, “the new bill harms their interests”.