Govt says no farmer died due to police action during farmers’ protests
New Delhi: The Union government on Friday said that no farmer died due to police action during the year-long protests by farmers.
Various farmer groups were protesting against three new farm laws, which have now been scrapped. The year-long protest at the Delhi borders was suspended by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Thursday after the Union government accepted their key pending demands, including withdrawal of police cases against the protesters and on Minimum Support Price (MSP).
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said, “the subject of compensation, etc. to the families of the deceased farmers in the farmers movement is with the concerned state governments”.
“No farmer died as a result of police action during the farmers’ agitation,” he said.
Tomar was responding to a joint question by Congress leader Dhiraj Prasad Sahu and AAP leader Sanjay Singh.
The members had asked whether the government is planning to provide or made any provision towards livelihood monetary compensation to the families of the farmers who died during farmers’ protests.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, have been raising the issue of deaths of farmers during the year-long protests.
The SKM, which suspended the protests after receiving a formal letter from the Union government accepting their key pending demands, on Thursday also said that farmers would celebrate December 11 as ‘Vijay Diwas’ and take out victory marches following which they will head home. The SKM is an umbrella body of 40 farm unions.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, were protesting at various Delhi borders from late November 2020, seeking repeal of the three farm laws.
On November 29, Parliament passed a Bill to repeal the three laws.
Replying to separate queries on the MSP, Tomar said, “a formal formation of a committee to promote zero budgeting based agriculture, to change crop pattern as per the changing needs of the country and to make MSP more effective and transparent is under consideration.”
Asked if the government proposes to bring a law to give legal guarantee to MSP for every crop as recommended by Swaminathan Commission, the minister said the government has already implemented in 2018-19 the recommendation made by the National Commission on Farmers (NCF) to fix MSP at at least 50 per cent profit on weighted average cost of production.
The Centre fixes MSP for 22 mandated agricultural crops and Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
The MSP for toria and de-husked coconut are also announced based on the MSP of rapeseed and mustard and copra, respectively.