HomeIndiaThree farm laws: Farmers call off year-long protest

Three farm laws: Farmers call off year-long protest

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, on Friday accepted a slew of proposals from the Centre on Friday and called off the year-long protest.

Farmers, who were protesting at Delhi borders began dismantling their tents after the SKM accepted a slew of proposals from the Centre, included in a letter signed by Union agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal, aimed at settling key agrarian issues raised by it. SKM was able to call off one of the country’s largest farmer demonstrations in decades.

The SKM will meet again on January 15, according to its leaders. On December 11, protesters will march from their camps on Delhi’s outskirts to their villages in triumph processions, it was announced.

The letter promised that government purchases of produce at a minimum support price (MSP) would continue, with the possibility of expanding the MSP regime; that cases against farmers would be dropped; that compensation would be paid to farmers who died during the protests; that criminal liability for burning crop stubble would be removed; and that no changes to the Electricity Act would be made without consultation.

Thousands of farmers protested the Modi government’s three agricultural reform laws, which were implemented in September 2020, by camped out on highways across many states for about 14 months. Thousands of people also set up virtual protest townships along Delhi’s boundaries, slowing traffic.

Farmers would have profited from the now-repealed laws, according to Modi, because they would have given them better access to markets. Farm unions, on the other hand, were concerned that the reforms would allow the government to stop buying produce at guaranteed prices, reducing farmers’ negotiating leverage and leaving them at the mercy of major corporations and supermarket chains.

On November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated that his government would repeal the controversial regulations, and Parliament did so on November 29. Farmers were able to re-engage with the government after the laws were repealed.