The nationwide farmers protest has generated a lot of tremor and distress on the global level against the three agriculture bills. The bill states that the agricultural sector will be open to private investors and global venture capitalist. A lot of agony has been witnessed at the Delhi borders since November 2020. The protest has been carried out by the farmers, especially from western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. The farmers protest is due to the three Farm bills, which were initially passed by the Parliament of India. And later, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his approval as well in September 2020.
So, what are these agriculture bills? Although they have become the talk of the town, but only few know exactly why the farmers are protesting and what are these 3 agriculture bills sanctioned by the government. Here is everything you should know about the new farming reforms in the nation.
Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
This bill lets the farmers to sell their product to anyone, which even includes any company, with whom they have a written contract. This implies that they can sell their goods outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) regulated markets. They are basically government managed marketing mandis. This gives farmer a right to set the price for the goods they produce, the quality standards and other legitimacies in advance.
As per the economic expert Gurcharan Das, APMC is an outdated establishment from an age of paucity, which intended to protect the farmers, but has become their tyrant. It is a control association, which fixes low process for the farmers produce, forcing despair sales.
The Farmer (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
The Act provides for a framework for farming contracts between a farmer and a buyer before the production of any farm product. As per PRS India, a Standing Committee on Agriculture (2018-2019). According to PRS India, a “Standing Committee on Agriculture (2018-19)” noticed, that the APMC laws required revisions as monopoly had started to form due to an inadequate no. of traders in APMC mandis. Therefore, this law was approved in September 2020.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
This act lets the central government to control the production, supply and distribution of certain food items that are important only under unusual situations like the food crisis, natural calamity and war. So, if any commodity comes under this act, in that case a company, big market, etc. cannot store these products when there is a scarcity. This will avoid any false price rise.
How the agricultural bills will benefit the farmers?
- The bill gives freedom to the farmers to sell and produce good outside registered mandis. This will beat the monopoly association at the APMC mandi.
- The bill gives liberty to the farmers by making a contract between a farmer and a businessman. This will also transfer risk of market irregularity to the buyer even before the production happens.
- To encourage hurdle-free inter-state and intra-state trade of farmers’ goods.
- The act will evade the Essential Commodities Act and would be able to keep the stock, which was controlled so far by storage limits of ESCA.
- To make competitive market situation and reduce wastage of farm goods.
Why are the farmers protesting?
The Indian farmers are upset with the provision as they are fearful that these bills may replace or scrape the present strong support system prevailing in their states for the buying of their produces. They are also scared that the MSP – Minimum Support Price assurance, which was their security net, will be taken away from them. There is also a concern that the freedom given to private companies could result in farmer victimization.
As stated Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait – ANI, we want these laws to be revoked and don’t want any changes. The protest will come to an end, only when these bills will be withdrawn. Like the central government carried out the three farm bills, the farmers should also be allowed to carry out a bill on the MSP.”
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said that, “The new farming laws have been carried in for the advantage of the farmers. We all will witness and experience the same in the coming future.