New Delhi: The Center has called on all states and Union Territories to tighten security during Tuesday’s’ Bharat Bandh ‘with farmers’ unions calling for support from opposition parties, but officials have said that the day should be for peace and tranquility.
In a nationwide consultation, the Union Home Ministry said that state governments and UT administrations should ensure that the Kovid-19 guidelines issued for health and social distance were strictly followed.
Farmers’ unions have called the ‘Bharat Bandh’ in opposition to the three agrarian laws enacted during the monsoon session of Parliament. On Sunday, major political parties came out strongly supporting Bund.
Here’s what you need to know about the new farm laws.

  1. Major provisions of the three bills

    The main provisions of the proposed legislation are intended to help small and marginal farmers (86% of total farmers) invest in technology to get better prices for their produce or to improve the productivity of farms. The bill on the farm market allows farmers to sell their produce to anyone they want outside of the APMC ‘mandis’. Anyone can buy their products at their farm gates. Though ‘Commission AgentWhile ‘mandis’ and states may lose ‘commissions’ and ‘knee-jerk fees’ (the main reasons for the current protests), farmers get better prices through competition and cost-cutting on transport. Contract farming legislation, on the other hand, allows farmers to contract with agri-business firms or large retailers on the pre-agreed prices of their products. This helps small and marginal farmers because the legislation shifts the risk of market unpredictability from farmer to sponsor. The 2020 Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill seeks to remove commodities such as grains, legumes, oils, edible oils, onions and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. The legislation also removes the imposition of stock-holding limits on such items, except in exceptional circumstances such as war and natural disasters. This provision will attract private sector / foreign direct investment Agriculture Sector. The bill will be moved separately.
  2. What farmers fear:

    The farmer associations of Punjab and Haryana say that the recently implemented laws at the center have reduced the minimum support price (MSP) system. They argue that over time large corporate firms dictate rules and farmers get less for their crops. Farmers fear that by virtually dismantling the knee-jerk system, they will not get a guaranteed price for their crops, and the “arthiyas” – even the agents of the commission lend them – go out of business.
  3. Farmer’s demands:

    The major demand is to repeal three laws regulating the sale of their crops. Farmer associations can also settle for legal assurance that the MSP system will continue, ideally through amendment of laws. They are demanding the repeal of the proposed electricity (amendment) bill 2020, which is subsidized electricity for fear that it may lead to an end. Farmers say the rules against stinking should not apply to them.
  4. How MSP Affects Farmers

    MSP is the minimum price that the government pays when any crop is purchased from farmers. It is announced by the State-Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission (CACP) for more than 22 commodities on an annual basis after calculating farm costs. Food Corporation of India (FCI) – the leading state-run grain procurement agency – purchases mostly rice and wheat at these prices. The FCI then sells these grains to the poor at a higher subsidy rate, after which the government compensates for its losses.
  5. What the government says

    The government has enacted three agricultural laws as major reforms in the agricultural sector that eliminate intermediaries and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country. Until 2020, the first sale of agricultural products can only occur on the orders of the Agricultural Product Market Committee (APMC). However, the Farmers’ Production Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, will allow APMC to sell to farmers outside Mandis in India.


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