The farm bills that were passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday have been shifted to the Rajya Sabha by Union minister of agriculture and farmer welfare Narendra Singh Tomar. Farmers and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 to become laws after the Upper House passes on Sunday.
The bills will deregulate farm foods from the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) which will give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside government-regulated markets.
According to the government, the bills focuses on accelerating agricultural growth through investments from private sector which will help in in building agricultural infrastructure and supply chains for Indian farm produce in national and international markets.
A government release called the passage of these bills a “historic-step” in unlocking the regulated agriculture markets in the country.
However, many farmers trust that the bills will leave the current Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system useless, leaving them at the mercy of “big farmers”.
There were protests across the nation with farmers in Punjab opting for a three-day ‘rail roko’ agitation from September 24 to September 26 and Opposition leaders burning copies of the bills in Parliament.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Narendra Modi Cabinet on Thursday to show her discontent with the bill and protest against the farm bills. “I think I failed to convince the government about the farmers’ grouse on the farm ordinances,” she said in an interview with Hindustan Times.