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SKM says govt is not answering its queries on proposed panel on MSP

Statesman News Service |

Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of peasants’ unions which spearheaded a year-long agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws, on Thursday accused the Centre of deliberately spreading confusion among the public without answering the questions raised by it.
The SKM expressed surprise over the statement of Union agriculture minister  Narendra Tomar in which he said that the government is awaiting names from the SKM for setting up a committee on minimum support price (MSP).
The SKM said on being asked by the Union government , Samyukta Kisan Morcha had sent its reply on 24 March itself, which was sent again on 30 March.  “The Morcha had issued a press release on 1 April on this subject, which was also discussed a lot in the media,” the SKM said in a statement.
“Samyukta Kisan Morcha once again wishes to put these facts in front of the public. On 22 March, Yudhveer Singh, a member of the SKM Coordination Committee, received a call from the then agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal, inviting two to three names from the SKM for the committee constituted by the government of India. But it was not clear from this oral message who else would be included in this committee, what would be its mandate and tenure and how it would work,” the SKM said.
The SKM said in an email to Aggarwal on 24 March,  the SKM had sought clarifications on five points.
“What will be the TOR (Terms of Reference) of this committee?  Apart from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which other organisations, persons and functionaries will be involved in this committee?  Who will be the chairman of the committee and what will be its functioning? How much time will the committee get to submit its report? Will the recommendation of the committee be binding on the government?,” it said listing the clarifications.
“This email was resent on 30 March. So that there would be no excuse in this regard, on April 1, we made this letter public through the press. But today, even after three weeks, we have not received any answer to these questions,” the SKM said.
“Samyukta Kisan Morcha urges the agriculture minister to send the government’s clarification on these points at the earliest so that the Morcha can decide whether to participate in this committee. Deliberately spreading confusion among the public without answering these questions raises questions on the intention of the government. Morcha again clarifies that unless we are fully aware of the nature and agenda of this committee, it will not be worthwhile to participate in any such committee,” the SKM statement said