Agricultural bills passed in  Lower House creates controversy ; farmers protest, Know why

Agricultural bills passed in Lower House creates controversy ; farmers protest, Know why

Recently, Loksabha has passed two agricultural bills which has created major controversy and farmers are protesting against the legislations. The two bills are : The Farmers Produce Trade and and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of price Insurance and bill. It has already passed Essential Commodities (Amendment)

The bills are now all set to be presented in RajyaSabha. As soon as a majority in Upper house supports it and passes the bill,It will become a law.

On Thursday, When Union Agriculture Minister moved the bill in Loksabha, he assured that this bill is going to support the farmers and they will get better prices for their produce and the Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system will continue.

However, Opposition is continuously opposing the bill. Parties like Congress, Trinamool Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) called the government ‘Anti-Farmers’.

Moreover, Minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned over the passage of these bills.

With Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Harsimrat kaur Badal’s resign, a question raised that whether SAD will continue the alliance or not. But Sukhbir Singh Badal said it will continue to be a part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Apart from that, A farmer body have informed that Farmers have organized organised a three-day protest against the bills in Punjab. They will stage a ‘rail roko’ agitation across the state from September 24-26.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also praised the passage of bills and said they will free the farmers of middlemen and other bottlenecks.

However, farmers continue to fear that legislation would lead to big monopolies and be as bad as the current cartelisation in mandis and also affect the procurement system.

About the Legislation:

1) This bill gives freedom to farmers from all kind of restrictions in agricultural trade.

2) The bills will create employment opportunities and strengthening the economy.

3) The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill gives farmers liberty to inter-state and intra-state trade of primary agricultural commodities. Generally, Farmers are allowed to sell in particular wholesale markets run by Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs).

4) This will enable more competition, modernisation of supply chains by enabling bigger agribusinesses to engage with farmers more directly and creating seamless access to fragmented markets.

5) Usually, Farmers fails to earn profit because they are bound to sell in particular markets to the licensed middle-man rather than open market.

6) The legislation will allow the government to invoke the Essential Commodities Act only if retail prices rise 50% in case of non-perishables and 100% in the case of perishable items from the average retail prices in the preceding 12 months or last five years.

7) The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill will enable the Farmers to trade their produce outside this market and will led to better competition to APMCs.

8) The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill will provide for a national framework on farming agreements, enabling a farmer to engage with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a mutually pre-agreed price.

Moreover, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the bills will not override Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts of the states.

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