Indias supreme court puts on hold the implementation of new controversial farm laws – CNBC

Indias supreme court puts on hold the implementation of new controversial farm laws – CNBC

Farmers shout slogans during their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march against the Centre’s new farm laws, at Singhu border on December 2, 2020 in New Delhi, India.

Sonu Mehta | Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India’s Supreme Court ordered an indefinite stay on Tuesday over the implementation of new agricultural laws that have triggered widespread protest from farmers, saying it would set up a panel to hear their objections.

For more than a month, tens of thousands of farmers have camped on the outskirts of New Delhi, the capital, to protest against reform measures that they say benefit large private buyers and harm growers.

Chief Justice Sharad Bobde told a hearing the Supreme Court would establish a panel to hear the farmers’ grievances.

“We have the power to make a committee and the committee can give us the report,” he said, ordering the stay for an undisclosed period on the laws passed in September.

“We will protect farmers.”

There were no immediate further details.

India says the laws aim to modernize an antiquated farming system, bedeviled by wastage and bottlenecks in the supply chain.

But farm leaders demand repeal of the laws, which they say are an attempt to erode a longstanding mechanism that ensures farmers a minimum support price for their crops.

The government has said there was no question of such a rollback, and eight rounds of talks have failed to find common ground. The two sides are set to meet next on Friday.