Farm bills ring alarm bells in farmer Community

farmer bills
The coalition government in Haryana between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Jannayak Janta Party is in a huddle over the farmer agitation

Three bills have been passed in Lok Sabha on Thursday. Lok Sabha has passed the Farmer Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bills, 2020.

The government says the proposed laws are meant to help small and marginal farmers. However, the bills have triggered massive protests in agriculture-dependent states where farmers fear loss of livelihood.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill seeks to develop a national framework for farming agreements to empower farmers through networking with agribusiness firms, exporters and retailers.

The bill, says the government, permits a farmer to enter into a written farming agreement for the supply of farm produce at an agreed price. The agreement should clearly specify the price of produce and any additional amount over and above the guaranteed price.

The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill seeks to give farmers the choice to sell their produce at competitive prices anywhere in the country.

According to the government, the bill aims at creating an ecosystem where farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to the sale and purchase of farm produce.

This will facilitate remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade, says the government.

Though the government feels that the farmer community will be benefitted bu the farmers across the country are agitated after the central government came out with two new legislations which the farmers call ‘draconian’ and fear that the new Bills could “destroy” the agriculture sector in and years of hard work put in to uplift farmers.

Angered due to the passing of the bill, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a key National Democratic Alliance partner from Punjab’s Shiromani Akali Dal, has stepped out from the Narendra Modi Cabinet

Apart from the aforementioned Bills, farmers have also opposed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee has called for a ‘rail roko’ agitation in Punjab from September 24 to 26.

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