There is currently widespread farmer protest happening against the three reforms — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
Farmers have laid siege to Delhi even as Modi government scrambles to find an amicable solution.
The President gave his assent on September 27 to the three contentious agriculture Bills that were earlier passed by the Parliament. The opposition as well as long-time BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal have termed these reforms as "anti-farmer".
After talks with Home Minister Amit Shah failed, the government laid out a plan to amend the agriculture laws, but farmer union leaders rejected the offer, saying they would settle for nothing less than complete scrapping of the legislations.
Here is everything you need to know:
- What are the three agri reforms in contention?
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation), the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act were passed by the House and received the President's assent turning them into laws. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has assured that the Minimum Support Price mechanism will stay, and adequate protection of land ownership was in place to protect farmer interests.
- What are they for?
The government has said these reforms will accelerate growth in the sector through private sector investment in building infrastructure and supply chains for farm produce in national and global markets.They are intended to help small farmers who don’t have means to either bargain for their produce to get a better price or invest in technology to improve the productivity of farms.The bill on Agri market seeks to allow farmers to sell their produce outside APMC 'mandis' to whoever they want. Farmers will get better prices through competition and cost-cutting on transportation. However, this Bill could mean states will lose 'commissions' and 'mandi fees'.The legislation on contract farming will allow farmers to enter into a contract with agri-business firms or large retailers on pre-agreed prices of their produce. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, seeks to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. This will end the imposition of stock-holding limits except under extraordinary circumstances.
- Who is protesting?
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and some other parts are protesting against these reforms. Currently there is a major protest going on at Delhi's borders. Badal, too, tendered her resignation after the Bills were passed. Opposition parties, including TMC, Congress, DMK and BSP, opposed the agriculture sector reform bills, saying they were against the interests of small and marginal farmers. Congress upped its ante against the Modi government, terming the move a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution.Slamming the government, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said: "This government has been eyeing, how they can take the farmers' land to benefit their capitalist friends, whether is the Land Acquisition Act, whether in the industrial system through weakening the labour courts and now this three-pronged attack on the Indian agricultural system through the two bills on farming - one related to APMC, the other one is related to contract farming and the third bill which is on essential commodities... a three-pronged attack on the Indian farmers."
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104 Comments on this Story
shaileshvyas20 days ago
since farmers from three states stared opposing i was just eager to know the new farm laws which indian government has introduce.i have of opinion that few farm leaders are notin to talking to give solution to improve on ferms laws.they are in to repealing the law. i dont understand their logic? and opposition are havingn fun.we should know the background check of farmers leaders.sorry to say Government is ttrying their best for the solution.
Kailash Thakur21 days ago
There are two types of farmers in India.
1. Small farmers who can hardly sustain themselves. They have less than five acres of land and they grow traditional crops using ancient techniques. 90 % of Indian farmers belong to this class. The controversial Farm Laws are blessings for these farmers!
2. Giant farmers who are farmers’ traders. They exploit small farmers. The new Bill is becoming a hindrance in their trade. There are only 10% of total farmers covered in this group. They lend farm equipments and money to small farmers and buy their crop.
New Farm Laws are life save for small farmers and not so good for big farmers!
Krishanu K Saha21 days ago
If examined very objectively, the Laws are in line with the Govt’s promise of “sabka vikas, sabke saath”.....it is enabling the smaller farmers to expand their potential, a potential that has long been
subdued by the middlemen and the wealthier farmers. It’s time to break the shackles of the smaller farmers and letting them fly. And that is scary to the syndicate - hence the protests. The great Indian crab mentality - pull down others who are daring to dream big. There is enough black money in the market to rope in celebrity protesters. But here’s what everyone forgets - no one can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come. That idea is the empowerment of the smaller farmers, and it shall prevail. India’s moving back from darkness into a new dawn, from a kalyug to a new satyayug under this government, and that is a fact.