Anil J Ghanwat, part of the three-member Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm laws on Monday said he will decide on whether to release the panel’s report after analysing the legal consequences and claimed that the two other members have given him the freedom to take a call.
The panel, after studying the three farm laws and consultation with stakeholders, had submitted its report to the apex court on March 19. Since then, the report has not been made public despite Ghanwat having requested the Chief Justice of India in a letter dated September 1 to release the report in the public domain saying its ”recommendations will pave the way to resolve the ongoing farmers’ agitation.” Speaking to PTI, Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatan, said the committee met on Monday against the backdrop of the government deciding to repeal the three farm laws. ”We discussed in detail whether to make the report public or not. The other two members gave me the freedom to take a call on this issue. I will decide after analysing the legal consequences, if any,” he said. The other two members of the committee are Ashok Gulati (agri economist and former chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices) and Pramod Kumar Joshi (agri economist and Director for South Asia at International Food Policy Research Institute). These two members were not available for comments. Ghanwat said unlike these two members who are academicians and professionals, he is a farmers’ leader. The panel’s report is in ”favour” of the farming community and should be released in the public domain in the larger interest of the country’s agriculture sector and farmers’ welfare. Expressing dismay over the government’s decision to repeal the farm laws, Ghanwat had last week said this decision ”won’t end the agitation too. Because their demand to make minimum support price (MSP) legal will be there. And this decision won’t help the BJP politically either.” ”This is a very unfortunate decision. Farmers were given some freedom, but now they will be exploited as they have been exploited since independence or since British rule,” he had said. The three central farm laws which will be repealed are: Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.