Sunday, August 7, 2022

Won’t sign on death warrant of farmers: Congress on opposing agriculture sector reform Bills

Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday termed agricultural Bills as “ill-conceived” and “ill-timed”, and said that his party will not sign on “death warrant” of farmers.”The Congress party opposes these ill-conceived and ill-timed Bills. Congress rejects these bills. We will not sign on this death warrant of farmers. Farmers in Punjab are protesting. They consider the Bills as an attack on them. Agriculture and markets are State subjects and these Bills are against the spirit of federal cooperative. We do not want APMC and MSP to be tinkered,” Bajwa said in Rajya Sabha while opposing two agriculture bills. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji did not come in Parliament to say that government will reduce the burden on farmers’ expenditure and when their oldest ally SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur resigned from the Union Cabinet, he made the statement. Sukhbir Badal in Lok Sabha said that he was not consulted for the Bill,” he added.

The statements came after Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two agriculture Bills in the Rajya Sabha.These Bills are — 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. Both of them were passed by the Lower House with a voice vote a couple of days back.
Moving the Bills, the Minister said, “The two Bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. They will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country. I want to assure the farmers that these Bills are not related to Minimum Support Price.”

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 permits the electronic trading of farmers’ produce and allows the setting up transaction platforms for facilitating direct online buying and selling of farm products.The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. A guaranteed price to be paid for the purchase of farming produce will be mentioned in such agreements.

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