Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: Two days after the farmers' unions expressed that they are ready to hold talks with the government again over the three agricultural laws, the government, while accepting their proposal, has fixed December 30 for the fresh talks.

In a letter signed by the Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, the government said that the meeting between the farmer leaders and the council of ministers would take place at Vigyan Bhawan on December 30 at 2 p.m.

This would be the sixth round of talks between the farmers and the government. The earlier rounds of talks remained inconclusive.

Earlier on December 26, a group of 40 farmer union leaders had announced that the government-farmer dialogue will resume with the sixth round of talks on December 29. The group reiterated that the repeal of the three contentious farm Acts and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was their "first and foremost" demand followed by other issues.

The past five rounds of talks remained inconclusive with the farmers adamant on the repeal of the three farm laws and the government saying it can amend the laws but withdrawal isn't possible.

The Union Agriculture Ministry in an official letter also confirmed the resumption of talks mentioning a four-point agenda of the meeting that includes "modalities to be adopted for the repeal of the three Central farm acts; mechanisms to be adopted to make remunerative MSP (Minimum Support Price) recommended by the National Farmers' Commission into a legally guaranteed entitlement for all farmers and all agricultural commodities; amendments to be made and notified in the 'Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020' to exclude farmers from the penal provisions of the Ordinance; and changes to be made in the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 to protect the interests of farmers".

All the farmers associations under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) reiterated that "they are and have always been open to a sincere dialogue".

After a meeting at Singhu border -- a major protest venue at the Delhi-Haryana border -- the AIKSCC reiterated that the "first and foremost demand of the farmers of India is repeal of three farm Acts and the Electricity Bill, 2020, every other demand only follows this".

Farmers have been agitating for a long time under the AIKSCC for "MSP at C2+50% for all crops and all farmers and waiver of debts of all farmers and landless agriculture workers, adivasis."

Comprehensive Cost (C2) is the actual cost of production as it takes into account the rent and interest foregone on the land and machinery owned by farmers.

(With IANS Inputs)