New Delhi, Sep 14 (UNI) Voicing the concerns of farmers and state governments across the country, Jalandhar Member of Parliament Santokh Singh Chaudhary opposed the introduction of agriculture bills on the opening day of Monsoon session of Parliament here on Monday.
MP Chaudhary told the House that The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 were anti-farmers and would put the annadata of the nation at the mercy of private companies. He said the farmers would die slow death, if these Bills were passed.
Highlighting that the Bills were beyond the legislative competence of the Parliament, MP Chaudhary stated that Agriculture is a state subject, at Entry No. 14 of List II under Schedule VII of the Constitution and therefore, government has no right to introduce these legislations.
He argued that the Bills overrode the state laws and were an attack on the federal structure of the country, adding that the government talked about cooperative federalism, but never followed it in letter and spirit.
He further asserted that these Bills would destroy the mandi networks of states and the MSP system. The agriculture-dominant states such as Punjab generate a substantial amount of revenue by levying fees on transactions in the agricultural trade, which is used for development of rural areas. The states would be deprived of their precious revenue, if changes in these Bills were to be implemented, he said.
MP Chaudhary stated that the mandi and MSP system has also proved its worth during COVID-19 pandemic when Punjab displayed exemplary management skills by procuring 100 per cent of the produce. If a similar crisis occurs again, would the private players buy farmers’ produce, he asked, adding that the Government should withdraw the Bills in the interests of the farmers.
UNI JS SY 1525