Contending that the new farm laws would “lead to corporatisation of the entire agriculture market” and “prices can be driven up or down” by corporates, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) faction has approached the Supreme Court saying what’s needed is “strengthening the existing APMC system by infusing more capital, and effective management of minimum support price”.
In an application seeking the top court’s permission to implead in pending writ petitions on the matter, BKU (Bhanu) president Bhanu Pratap Singh said the new laws are “unconstitutional, anti-farmer” and will “dismantle” the APMC system which ensures fair prices for farm products.
A clutch of petitions challenging the new farm laws are already before the Supreme Court – the petitioners include RJD MP Manoj Jha and DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and some residents of Chhattisgarh. On October 12, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Centre on these petitions.
Describing the new laws as an “attack” on “the agriculture fabric of the nation”, Bhanu Pratap Singh said the “farmers are very much scared” since the “illegal and arbitrary” Acts will “pave the way for cartelisation and commercialisation of agricultural produces and if allow(ed) to stand, we are going to completely ruin our country as the corporates can, with one stroke, export our agricultural produce without any regulation, and (this) may even result in famines”.
He said “these laws were passed without having adequate discussion” and their “implementation in … current form will spell disaster for (the) farming community by opening a parallel market” which will be “unregulated” and will result in “exploitation of the Indian farmers”.
The application, filed through Advocate A P Singh, stated that “without the Agriculture Produce Market Committee acting as a protective shield around the farmers, the market would ultimately fall to the corporate greed of multinational companies”.
It contended that the farmers, most of whom are illiterate, would not know how to negotiate with a private company, and this would put them in an “unequal bargaining position”.
It said the BKU, in a representation, had urged the Prime Minister to constitute a Farmers Commission which alone should decide the price of crops.
The union also wants the government to announce waiver of all bank loans, and payment of outstanding dues on crops within 10 days.
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