Amid widespread protests by farmers and the Opposition, President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday (September 27) gave his approval for all three controversial farm bills, which have been opposed since they are “anti-farmer” and “corporate-friendly”.
The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 have been passed in both the Houses of Parliament.
President gives his assent to the three #FarmBills :
▪️Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
▪️Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
▪️Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 pic.twitter.com/PmjG4jNopC
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) September 27, 2020
The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 aims to permit the sale of agricultural produce outside the mandis regulated by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) constituted by different state legislations. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, provides for contract farming. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 deregulates the production, supply, distribution of food items like cereals, pulses, potatoes, onion and edible oilseeds.
The three bills were passed recently in the Rajya Sabha amid strong dissent in Parliament, which led to a ruckus caused by Opposition members and the subsequent suspension of eight MPs.
Even the NDA’s oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) parted ways over the issue of these farm bills as farmers in Punjab and Haryana intensified their protests.
This development came in the backdrop of numerous opposition parties seeking the withdrawal of the farm bills and the guarantee of assured minimum support prices (MSPs) for commodities for farmers.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad had also met President Kovind to discuss the farm bills, and asked him not to sign the farm bills.