RTI response shows claims by govt, ministers of consulting ‘lakhs of farmers’ before farm laws were passed are nothing but lies
Asked for details of consultations done by govt with farmer groups before passing the laws, Dept of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare said it “does not hold any record in this matter”
It is to be noted BJP led Modi government in centre had made repeated claims that they held multiple consultations with ‘stakeholders’ before the three farm bills were enacted into laws.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in an online event streamed live on Facebook on Monday said that “these laws have been discussed in the country for a very long time.
Many committees were set up which then conducted many consultations across the country.”
Similarly, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had tweeted earlier this month that “A total of 1.37 lakh webinars and trainings were conducted since June, 2020 where 92.42 lakh farmers participated.”
A note from government sources trying to debunk the “perception that the central government has not done extensive outreach and consultations with farmers and their representatives,” claimed that in the run-up to the announcements of the reforms, the government had consulted various experts, officials, agriculture departments of various states etc.
“Feedback was also obtained from few progressive farmers and knowledgeable mandi officials.
There were multiple meetings with FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations) through video conferences. The Ministry also consulted a prominent Farmers union and even did a change in the ordinance after their feedback,” it said.
However In response to an RTI application asking for details of consultations, if any, that the government had undertaken with farmer groups before passing the three farm laws, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare has said that it “does not hold any record in this matter”.
Filed by NDTV, the RTI query asked for details of these meetings, including the dates of such consultation meetings, the names of the farmer representatives that attended the meetings and the farmer groups they were affiliated to, and the details of all other attendees of the meetings.