Mumbai, June 9: Nine days after Maharashtra farmers went on a strike, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday rsponded to it by forming a high-powered ministerial committee to examine the issue of loan waiver and other demands of the agriculturists, an official said.
The committee, headed by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, will go into the entire gamut of demands, including writing off farm debts, issue of the minimum support prices, implementation of M.S. Swaminathan Commission Report, and pension for senior farmers, among others.
The committee will invite farmers’ leaders for discussions on their demands and seek suggestions, which will be submitted in a report to the government.
The committee includes Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Cooperatives Minister Subhash Deshmukh, Water Supply Minister Girish Mahajan, and Shiv Sena’s Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, besides Patil.
“Any problem can be resolved through negotiations only. We are ready to discuss all the issues pertaining to farmers, for which we have formed this committee. I appeal to the farmers’ leaders to work out a solution through talks only,” Fadnavis reiterated.
The move came a day after farmers served a two-day ultimatum to the Fadnavis government to concede their demands, failing which they would resort to blockade of collectorates and revenue offices on Monday, followed by a rail and road blockade in the state on Tuesday.