SC panel member asks court to make farm laws report public

By: |
November 25, 2021 1:45 AM

Referring to the Prime Minister’s announcement on repealing the farm laws, Ghanwat requested the apex court to consider directing the government to “develop and implement an exemplary, robust policy process so that a fiasco of this sort is not repeated”.

“The Committee would prepare a White Paper that considers costs and benefits of options, consults widely and recommends a way forward. The legislation resulting from such a process would be acceptable to India’s long-suffering farmers,” he said.“The Committee would prepare a White Paper that considers costs and benefits of options, consults widely and recommends a way forward. The legislation resulting from such a process would be acceptable to India’s long-suffering farmers,” he said.

Farm activist and senior leader of the Sharad Joshi-led Shetkari Sanghatana Anil Ghanwat, also one of the members of the SC-appointed committee on the farm laws, has urged the court to release the panel’s report.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s announcement on repealing the farm laws, Ghanwat requested the apex court to consider directing the government to “develop and implement an exemplary, robust policy process so that a fiasco of this sort is not repeated”.

In a letter to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Ghanwat said: “On November 19, 2021, the Prime Minister announced the government’s decision to repeal the farm laws. But it is important to ensure that while the specific laws may no longer exist, the reform impulse that was reflected in these laws is not diluted.

“After the government’s decision to repeal the farm laws in the coming Winter Session of Parliament, the committee’s report is no longer relevant with regard to those laws but there are suggestions in the report on farmers’ issues that are of great public interest,” he said.

“The report can also play an educational role and ease the misapprehensions of many farmers who have, in my opinion, been misguided by some leaders who do not seem to appreciate how a minimally regulated free market can allocate national resources to their most productive use,” he said. With the repeal of these laws, a large number or farmers are now even further frustrated with India’s lack of attention to their needs, he said.

Ghanwat said that a robust policy process for making new farm laws would involve establishing a committee with representation of all views. “The Committee would prepare a White Paper that considers costs and benefits of options, consults widely and recommends a way forward. The legislation resulting from such a process would be acceptable to India’s long-suffering farmers,” he said.

“I am also writing to apprise you that organisations that lodged submissions to the Farm Laws Committee have asked me about the contents of the Report,” he said in the letter. But it would be more appropriate that the Report itself is made available publicly to inform farm policy debates including during the preparation of a consultation paper or White Paper by the Government, he said.

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