Withdrawing 3 Farm Laws Unfair to ‘Silent Majority’: SC-appointed Panel Report

The committee had recommended against the withdrawal of the farm laws as a “majority” of farm unions supported them.

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Months after the three farm laws were repealed, a Supreme Court-appointed committee looking into the controversial legislations made its report public on Monday, 21 March, suggesting that the committee had recommended against the withdrawal of the farm laws as a “majority” of farm unions supported them and the withdrawal is “unfair to this silent majority”.

While halting the implementation of the farm laws, the Supreme Court had constituted a committee to look into them on 12 January last year. The committee’s report was submitted on 13 March 2021 and was made public on Monday.

The 92-page report was released by Anil Ghanwat, one of the three members of the committee. Two other members of the committee – agricultural economists Ashok Gulati and Dr Parmod Kumar Joshi – were not present at the release.

The report states, “The bilateral interactions of the committee with the stakeholders demonstrated that only 13.3 percent of the stakeholders were not in favour of the three farm laws. Around 85.7 percent of the farmer organisations representing around 3.3-crore farmers supported the laws,” The Indian Express reported.

The report adds, “The feedback received by the committee through its online portal established that one-third of the respondents did not support the farm laws and around two-thirds were in their favour. The feedback received through e-mails also shows that a majority supported the farm laws. In view of this feedback, the committee recommends that a repeal or a long suspension would, therefore, be unfair to this ‘silent’ supporters.”

According to the report, an invitation to 266 farmer organisations had been extended, including the protesting farmer unions.

However, the committee “interacted directly” with only 73 farmer bodies representing 3.83-crore farmers, of which 61 farmer organisations representing 3.3 crore farmers (85.7 percent) “fully supported” the Acts, the daily reported.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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