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    Lok Sabha passes two farm bills to liberalise markets, attract investment amid protests by Opposition, SAD

    Synopsis

    The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by voice vote as the Congress, DMK and Revolutionary Socialist Party members staged a walkout.

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    The Lok Sabha passed two farm-related bills that would allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere and enter into tie-ups with retailers, exporters or other parties to minimise risks and get a good price.

    The bills were passed despite protests from opposition parties and the resignation of Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. The government is confident that the new laws will boost farm incomes although some farm leaders fear that farmers may be exposed to manipulation by traders and companies.

    The two bills - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 - will replace ordinances promulgated in June.

    Replying to the discussion on the bills, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said farmers would now be freed from the restrictions of having to sell their produce at designated places only. It would unify the national agricultural market and help farmers reap better harvests.

    He said procurement at Minimum Support Price (MSP) would continue and mandis established under state laws will also continue to exist.

    “These legislations will bring about revolutionary transformation and transparency in the agriculture sector, electronic trading will increase, there will be accelerated agricultural growth as private investment will be attracted in building supply chains and agricultural infrastructure, new employment opportunities will be created and rural economy will get a boost, which will in turn help to strengthen the national economy,” he said.

    The other legislation related to price assurance will empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters etc., on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation.

    “It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs. It will reduce cost of marketing and improve income of farmers,” Tomar said.

    Officials said this legislation would act as a catalyst to attract private sector investment for building supply chains for supply of Indian farm produce to national and global markets, and in agricultural infrastructure. Farmers will get access to technology and advice for high value agriculture and get ready market for such produce, they said.
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    4 Comments on this Story

    Anand Bhairat122 days ago
    I think more options to farmers is a good thing to do.
    I would like to understand why some farmers are objecting to this.
    Jagdip Vaishnav122 days ago
    Farmers should have full liberty to sell out their agriculture produce
    Slug Slurry122 days ago
    kick off SAD. crook party. corruption badal.
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