Chandigarh, Feb 8 (IANS) On the personal intervention of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the Union government and farmers reached a consensus on Thursday evening over various issues during the first round of deliberations, the state government said.
The meeting was held here and was attended by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai besides the Chief Minister and representatives of various farmers unions.
An official statement quoting the Chief Minister said during the first round of talks a general consensus emerged on rolling back the cases registered against farmers during the agitation against the repealed farm laws.
He said the deliberations were held in a congenial atmosphere and the Union Ministers gave their in principle approval to sympathetically consider the demands of the farmers. Mann said exemplary punishment was sought against the manufacturers of the spurious seeds so that interests of the food growers are safeguarded, adding the issue of paddy straw burning was also vehemently raised.
The Chief Minister, while presenting the case of the farmers, batted for continuing the minimum support price (MSP) regime on the crops by asserting that it is the need of hour to secure the interests of the farmers.
He said the withdrawal of the MSP is figment of imagination of only the armchair economists, who sit in their cozy offices in the national capital without bothering about the ground realities. Mann said any such move to discontinue the MSP regime will jeopardise the food security of the country and is not in the interest of the nation.
Dwelling on another issue, the Chief Minister also batted for giving major push to the crop diversification in the country as it will be beneficial for the people.
He said the country today imports pulses from countries like Mozambique and others whereas if farmers get remunerative prices then they can produce these pulses here. Mann said this would save the foreign reserves of the country, besides bringing the farmers out of rut of paddy circle thereby saving the precious water in the state.
Thanking the Union government and farmers for coming on table to discuss the issues, the Chief Minister said this is the right platform for solving the issues.
“We too don’t want that agitation should take place on these issues and rather these matters must be sorted out through bilateral dialogue,” he said.
Mann expressed hope that more such discussions will take place in coming times in the larger interests of the farmers and the people.