The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the two contentious farmer’s legislation amid strong protest from various parties, including NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), with main Opposition Congress terming them “draconian”, and other opposition parties posing several questions to the government.
During the debate on Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “No farmer in the country has expressed happiness on this…. I appreciate Harsimran Kaur (Union minister who resigned), who displayed guts by opposing the draconian legislation. These three laws are a toxic triangle. You want to deregulate the farmer market. (But) look at what has happened in Bihar, which is deregulated, and compare it with the regulated markets in Punjab and Haryana…”.
Biju Janata Dal MP Anubhav Mohanty said the Bills should go to the Standing Committee for scrutiny and more clarity. Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP Manne Srinivas Reddy questioned the use of the e-NAM portal.
Trinamool member Mahua Moitra said: “This Bill is in direct violation of the federal structure of the Constitution, namely Article 246 (3) read with Schedule VII, List II, Items 14, 18, 30 and 45. It squarely puts agriculture, items relating to agricultural land, rents, revenue assessment, and collection on the State List. Once again, this government is doing what it does best, which is arrogating to itself a constitutional authority it is not vested with.”
The Left asked why the Bill does not ensure that the price of agriculture produce is linked with MSP. “This Bill should not have been kept outside the purview of the Essential Commodities Act and other Acts. The government should have ensured that prices of agricultural produce should have been linked with MSP. It should have ensured that farmers get at least some remunerative price for their produce above this MSP,” CPI(M)’s P R Natarajan said.
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