In a major move, respecting the sentiments of farmers Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the repeal all three Central farm laws.
Addressing the nation on the occasion of Gurpurab today the Prime Minister said, “Today I want to tell everyone that we have decided to repeal all three farm laws.”
The Prime Minister said, “The three laws were in the best interests of farmers, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to persuade a segment of them.”
He also added that he is not blaming anyone for this on an auspicious day.
What are the three farm laws:
The three laws are —
- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020: The law is designed to replace all state-level APMC laws and deprive state governments of the power to collect taxes, cess, or other charges on farmers’ produce. The Centre had asserted that the bill would facilitate agricultural trade by removing the requirement for a licence for anyone wishing to engage with farmers, as existed under the APMC system.
- The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020:The law establishes a framework for contract farming by requiring a farmer and a buyer to enter into an agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. It establishes a three-tiered conflict resolution mechanism: the Conciliation Board, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, and the Appellate Authority.
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020: The law grants the central government the authority to limit the supply of specific food commodities only in exceptional circumstances (such as war and famine). Agricultural produce stock limitations may be applied only if prices climb dramatically.
Why did the farmers protest against these laws?
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh protested at several Delhi border points for almost a year since 26 November 2020 demanding withdrawal of the three farm laws claiming that the laws were enacted at the Centre will dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system.
Farmers claim that over time, huge corporations will dictate terms, and farmers would end up earning less for their crops.
Farmers were concerned that with the virtual dismantling of the mandi system, they will no longer be able to secure an assured price for their products, and the “arthiyas” – commission agents who also lend to them — will go out of business.
The protests did not stop through several rounds of talks between the government and farmers, disruptions in parliament and Supreme Court hearings.
The protests have continued for over a year after deliberations between the government and farmers unions failed.