What are Farm Bills?
On September 27, India’s President gave consent to three farm bills herein listed below:
Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
As per this bill, farmers can enter into a written agreement for a specified period of time with companies and companies can customize the price, standard, and quality for the produce and other legalities in advance.
Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
The new Marketplace law says that farmers can sell their produce anywhere – and not just in the APMC approved marketplace or mandis, they can sell it into not only their state but outside their state even online. Whereas state governments are prohibited from levying any market fee, cess, or levy outside APMC or Mandi areas.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
This Act mainly controls and deals with the production, supply, and distribution of certain essential commodities. Companies and Supermarkets etc cannot accumulate the items listed in this act when there is a shortage and they can’t artificially increase the price.
Why Are Farmers Protesting?
The Farmers of UP, Haryana, and Punjab are upset with these bills and fear that this may be an excuse to pull off the MSP safety net from under their feet.
What is MSP?
MSP stands for Minimum Support Price, It is the price lay down by the government to purchase crops from the farmers, whatever may be the market price for the crops. It is a significant part of India’s agricultural price policy that assures the farmers about agricultural income before the sowing. MSP protects the farmers against excessive fall in price during bumper production years
Further State like Haryana & Punjab has vested interest of reduction in their state earnings as state governments are prohibited from levying any market fee, cess, or levy outside APMC or Mandi areas.
Haryana levies 2% Mandi Tax that goes to Mandi Board & 2% Rural Development cess that goes to state govt. whereas in Punjab it is 3% Mandi Tax and 3% rural development cess. Punjab is a smaller state and that earns Rs. 1700 crore in a year through rural development cess & Mandi tax. Besides this 2.5% commission agent also take home 2.% of the sale price.
So. these are some controversies on Farm Bills, Now let’s see what comes out on round table conference between Farmer Unions and Centre.