Amid nationwide farmers’ protest, the Government of India tabled the three Bills related to agriculture sector and farmers in the Lok Sabha, the lower of house of Parliament, to replace the ordinances promulgated on June 5, 2020.
Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar today introduced the Bills, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Parliament.
Introducing the Bills, the Agriculture Minister, said in the Lok Sabha, that the measures contained therein would enable barrier-free trade in agricultural produce, and also empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice. He said that these steps were only the latest in a series of measures taken by the government, which shows its continuous commitment to championing the cause of welfare of the farmers of India.
However, the Bills did not go down well with the farming community as the community held nationwide protest against the Bills.
In continuation of the protests led by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) since August 9, 2020; today, on the first day of monsoon session of Parliament, lakhs of farmers in “over 5,000 spots in 20 states of India held protests, demanding that the anti-farmer Bills” placed in the Lok Sabha be withdrawn. It is noteworthy that starting from Jantar Mantar in Delhi where Working Group Members of AIKSCC were present to lead the protests while parliament was in session, in more than 1500 spots in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, protest gatherings of thousands of farmers were held.
AIKSCC has urged Central government to drop efforts to “forcibly pass these laws in the guise of farmers welfare”. The farmers organisation said that these “retrograde pro-corporate and anti-farmer laws are attempted to be passed, there will be continuous mass protests all over the country. Instead, the government should focus on announcing minimum support price (MSP) on C2+50 percent formula mandated by Swaminathan Commission and ensure an enabling and enforced environment so that crops are purchased at prices not below MSP.”
Working Group of AIKSCC has resolved that continuous protests will be held all over the country so long as these laws are on the table of Parliament and in the coming days, announcements of these all-India protests shall me made.
Led by All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) Allahabad Committee, hundreds of peasants, sand mine, stone quarry and agriculture workers today demanded withdrawal of these three ordinances in agriculture, the new Electricity Bill 2020 and the hike in diesel and petrol prices.