0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Explained: The three controversial farm laws and why they are being withdrawn

Mini

In his address to the nation, on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on Friday, PM Modi announced the government will repeal the three controversial farm laws in the coming Winter session of Parliament.

Explained: The three controversial farm laws and why they are being withdrawn

In an unexpected move this morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will repeal the three farm laws that sparked major protests by farmers across the country.

In his address to the nation, on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on Friday, PM Modi announced the government will repeal the three controversial farm laws in the coming Winter session of Parliament.

"We have decided to repeal all three farm laws. We will start the constitutional process to repeal all the three laws in Parliament session that starts at the end of this month," Modi said.

Modi said that he hoped the farmers would call off their protests and “start afresh”.

“I apologise to the nation, because there seems to have been something lacking in our efforts, because of which we were unavailable to explain the truth to some farmers," he said.

The three contentious farm laws

Farmers have been protesting against the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Farmers believe that the three agriculture laws passed in September 2020 would benefit large corporates and immensely hurt them.
The government wished to implement the laws to loosen rules around sale, pricing and storage of farm produce. This meant private buyers would have been permitted to hoard essential commodities for future sales. At present, only government-authorised agents are allowed to hoard essential commodities.
One of the biggest reforms that would have been introduced by the three laws is that farmers would be allowed to sell their produce directly to private players such as agricultural businesses, supermarket chains and online grocers at a market price. At present, farmers sell most of their produce at mandis of government-controlled wholesale markets at assured floor prices.
However, farmers fear that these laws would have brought an end to the wholesale markets and assured prices. Without a mandi system, farmers would have nowhere to return if they are not satisfied with the price offered by a private buyer. This also means farmers would have lesser bargaining chip during price negotiations.
They also sought for a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

Reasons to repeal the laws

The controversial laws led to widespread agitations by farmers, who have been camping at Delhi borders for several months now. Hundreds of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and UP, have lost their lives during the more than a year long agitation.

PM Modi said the government had taken efforts to change provisions in the laws after holding several rounds of discussions with farmers.

Failing to resolve the impasse, the Supreme Court in January had stayed the implementation of the farm laws till further orders. The top court also set up a committee to resolve the impasse.

Even after 11 rounds of negotiations, the government and the protesting farmers failed to resolve the stalemate with both sides not agreeing to climb down from their respective stands.

Critics say that the decision has been taken to woo farmers ahead of elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, the states at the heart of the farmers’ protests. According to poll experts, these laws would have an impact on voters in these states.
next story