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'Centre willing to discuss farm laws clause by clause'

Centre willing to discuss farm laws clause by clause
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New Delhi: The government is engaging with farmer leaders to decide on the next date of talks, Union Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, as unions intensified their agitation against the Centre's three farm laws and observed a day-long fast on Monday.

"The meeting will definitely happen. We are engaging with farmers," Tomar told a news agency.

The government is ready for discussion anytime. The farmer leaders have to "decide and convey" when they are ready for the next meeting, he added.

Tomar is leading the negotiations with 40 farmer unions, along with Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Parkash.

Previous five rounds of talks between the Centre and 40 farmer unions' leaders have remained inconclusive.

The government has sent a draft proposal along with written assurance of continuing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system to them for consideration, but farmer unions have rejected it and demanded repeal of the laws.

These laws are meant for transforming the lives of farmers, Tomar said, adding that the government policy and its intention behind these laws are clear.

"We tried to convince farmers and farmer unions leaders. Our wish is that they come for clause-by-clause discussion. If they are ready to express their views clause by clause, we are ready for discussion," he said.

Tomar also indicated that the government will not repeal the laws.

Earlier in the day, Tomar met Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed the way forward to end the deadlock.

Later, the Agriculture minister also met a delegation of farmers led by the All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC) which extended support to the farm laws. This is the fourth group of farmers who have extended support to the laws in the last two weeks.

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