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India


Repeal bill lists benefits of Farm Laws, Opposition leaders express apprehension over laws being brought back

Repeal bill lists benefits of Farm Laws, Opposition leaders express apprehension over laws being brought back

New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) A bill to repeal the farm laws, which is listed for introduction in Lok Sabha on Monday, lists out the merits of the farm laws and also says only a "group of farmers are protesting against the law", prompting Opposition leaders to express apprehension that while government is scrapping the laws, it may be brought back later.
The bill, which is set to be introduced in Lok Sabha, says, "Even though only a group of farmers are protesting against these laws, the Government has tried hard to sensitise the farmers on the importance of the Farm Laws and explain the merits through several meetings and other forums."
It says, "without taking away the existing mechanisms available to farmers, new avenues were provided for trade of their produce" under the three laws.
The draft says under the new laws, farmers were free to select the avenues of their choice where they can get more prices for their produce without any compulsion.
"However, the operation of the aforesaid Farm laws has been stayed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. During the COVID period, the farmers have worked hard to increase production and fulfil the needs of the nation. As we celebrate the 75th Year of Independence— "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav", the need of the hour is to take everyone together on the path of inclusive growth and development," reads the Bill.
The statement for object and reasons for the bill also says, "Agriculture marketing plays an important role in providing necessary services to producers and buyers. Majority of the farmers in India are small and marginal farmers with less than two hectares of land. The Government has been making several interventions to support farmers, including small and marginal farmers by providing quality seeds, credit, insurance, procurement and market support and the like."
It gives details of steps taken by the Narendra Modi government for farmers, including increase in budget allocation, Soil Health Card Scheme, crop insurance scheme, Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, launch of National Agriculture Market, and expansion of farmers' welfare schemes and programmes like natural farming, organic farming, Oil Palm Mission, Pulses Mission and Agriculture Mechanisation.
"For the first time Minimum Sale Price has been fixed atleast 1.5 times of the cost of production, and procurement of oilseeds, pulses and cotton have also started, in addition to paddy and wheat," says the Bill.
However, pointing out at the language of the draft legislation, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said it was "brazen justification" of the laws.
"Brazen justification of these laws. Repealing because a 'small group' objected and have to 'take everyone along' in India. Our annadatas reject this reasoning," Yechury said in a tweet.
He said it is a "clear signal" that the laws will be back "post elections".

"Recollect how these laws were steamrolled. Passed in a din in Parliament. MPs suspended when they demanded their right to vote! 750+ farmers martyred. Vilified, abused, mowed to death by Cabinet Minister’s son. No remorse. Now diabolic justification," he said.
Similar apprehension was expressed by Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge after an all party meet called by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry. Kharge questioned the Prime Minister's absence from the meeting and said they wanted to discuss the Farm Laws repeal as there is apprehension that the laws would be brought back.
"We were expecting that the Prime Minister would attend the meeting. We wanted to discuss issues. They will withdraw Farm laws, but whether they are going to repeal and reintroduce in another form, that we have got doubts," Kharge said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not attend the all party meeting. Asked about the Prime Minister's absence Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said "The trend of PM attending the meet started after Modiji became PM, this time he could not attend."
The bill would repeal the three laws - the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The bill has been listed in Lok Sabha on Monday. Both BJP and Congress have issued whips for all MPs to be present in the House. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has also written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for adopting a unanimous resolution paying tributes to farmers who have lost their lives during the year-long agitation.
UNI AO SHK2239

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