The ongoing farmers’ protest march demanding legalising the minimum support price (MSP) regime paused for a few days. The farmer unions would hold another round of negotiations with the representatives of the Centre on Sunday.Information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur told reporters on Friday that talks with the agitating farmers were on and a solution would be found soon.

Meanwhile, commuters in Punjab faced inconvenience on Friday as buses stayed off the roads in response to a call given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha for a ‘Bharat Bandh’. The All India Kisan Sabha, in a statement, claimed that the bandh evoked strong response.Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, who met farmers’ representatives late on Thursday along with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Misiter of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, told reporters the talks were “positive”, adding:

“We believe we will all find a solution together peacefully.” Meanwhile, markets and commercial establishments in Punjab and Haryana remained shut due to the bandh call, while farmers held demonstrations and blocked national highways in Pathankot, Tarn Taran, Bathinda and Jalandhar.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait participated in a protest in support of the farmers’ demands.8 crops procured at MSP will need Rs 6 trillion: CrisilAn analysis done by Crisil Market Intelligence and Analytics of the 16 out of the 23 crops for which MSP is declared showed that prices of eight of them were below the MSP while the remaining was above the same. The analysis was undertaken between July 2022 and June 2023 for kharif crops and Jan 2023 and December 2023 for rabi crops.

The eight crops taken by CRISIL for the analysis represented over 90 per cent production of the field crops in the period. The analysis showed that if all the eight crops are procured at MSP, then it would require an upfront capital of Rs 6trillion while if just the difference between the MSP and average market price is paid, then an expenditure of Rs 21,000 crore would have to be spent.

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