New Delhi: Farmers during their protest against the Centers new farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020
New Delhi: Farmers during their protest against the Centers new farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020
PTI Photo

NEW DELHI: Going back on Sunday's offer to discuss "any other issues the farmer unions would want," the government on Thursday sent a fresh invite to the protesting farmers for talks, but with a rider not to include in the agenda any new demand related to the minimum support price (MSP).

Its concern is that the farmers are contemplating demanding MSP not only on certain foodgrains but all farm produce, including fruits, vegetables and a score of foodgrains kept out of the purview.

In a three-page letter written to 40 farmer leaders, Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal said, "I again request you that the government has been discussing all issues with an open heart and good intention to end the protest, and will continue to do so. Kindly suggest a date and time (for the next round of talks)."

The previous five rounds of talks between the government and the unions have failed to break the deadlock, with the farmers insisting on the repeal of the three laws. Their protests at Delhi's borders will complete 30 days on Friday.

In response to Wednesday's letter by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a coordination committee of some 40 farmer unions, asking the government to send "concrete proposals in writing instead of repeating rejected proposals around meaningless amendments," Aggarwal wrote back that the government was ready to find a "logical solution" to the issues raised by them, but did not offer any fresh concrete proposals sought by the morcha.

His letter said the talks will be held at Vigyan Bhawan here at the ministerial level. On the MSP, it said the farm laws had nothing to do with the price regime nor would they have an impact on the procurement of farm produce at fixed rates.

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