RTI’s response from the Ministry of Agriculture flies in the face of the Centre’s position that extensive discussions have taken place
The Union Agriculture Ministry was unable to provide any record of pre-legislative consultations on the three agricultural reform laws, according to a response it gave to a question under the law on the law. to information.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has repeatedly said that extensive consultations have taken place on the three laws.
The Center has now filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying it is a “flawed notion” that no consultation took place.
In December 2020, RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj asked the Agriculture Ministry for full details of stakeholder consultations held before the Center issued three ordinances on agricultural reforms in June.
She asked for the dates and participants of the meetings, copies of the minutes and lists of States, experts and farmer groups that had been consulted.
RTI’s request also requested a copy of the comments and communications that had been sent by the States with which the consultations had taken place.
In a separate RTI dossier, she also requested details to show that the Center had placed the bill in the public domain for 30 days, in accordance with standards set by its own pre-legislative consultation policy as well as by the Central Commission. of information. .
The requests were both transmitted between several departments of the ministry. Two central information officers forwarded and forwarded the requests.
Two others rejected the request, with one from the ministry’s marketing unit stating that “this CPIO has no records in this matter.”
The fourth, from the section dealing with the administrative work of the Agricultural Marketing Division, said that “the information is considered null” with regard to his section. The requests were then rejected and these responses were sent to the activist.