Parliament Monsoon Session Highlights: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two contentious legislations ––– Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, through voice vote. Moving the bills in the Lower House, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said they are aimed at making farming profitable and clarified that these bills would not have any impact on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism which will continue. He further assured that these legislations would not encroach upon the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts of the states.
While opposition parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress, RSP opposed the bills, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur, belonging to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which is a member of BJP-led NDA, resigned from the government in protest over the ordinances. Targeting SAD president Sukhbir Badal and his wife and Union Cabinet Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Congress, AAP and SAD (Democratic) had demanded that the latter resign from the Union Cabinet as her position is “untenable” following her party’s stance against the agriculture Bills. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against three ordinances promulgated by the Centre on June 5. After the Monsoon Session of Parliament began this week, the government had introduced three Bills to replace these ordinances.
On the fourth day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke on the military standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh on Thursday. Asserting that China continues to be in illegal occupation of approx 38,000 sq. kms in the Union Territory of Ladakh, the Defence Minister also said, “Chinese actions reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements. The amassing of the troops by China goes against the 1993 & 1996 Agreements.”