India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the repeal of three controversial agricultural laws. The farmers have been protesting for a long time demanding repeal of this law. The farmers won by announcing the repeal of the law.
The Hindustan Times reports that political experts say the repeal of the law is going to be a major step for the BJP in forming an alliance with former state chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections.
Addressing the nation on Friday morning, Narendra Modi said the government would complete the formal work of repealing the laws in the winter session of the Rajya Sabha. The session will start on November 29. Asked about the decision to repeal the law and urged the agitating farmers to return to their farms, he said, “I have always thought of the farmers in my five decades of political life. I have done everything for the benefit of the farmers. Let’s start all over again. ‘
A year and a half ago, during the Kovid situation, the Center issued ordinances to enact these three agricultural laws. Then in September last year, in a part-time session of parliament, three laws were passed, almost without discussion, ignoring the opposition’s demands.
The first is the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act or the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. The second is the Agricultural Produce Transactions and Trade Development Act or the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act. The third is the Farmer Protection and Empowerment (Price and Agricultural Services) Act or the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price and Farm Services Act.
The Modi government had demanded that these three agricultural laws be implemented to meet three main objectives. The first is to increase the income of the farmers by reducing the dominance of fariya or brokers in agriculture. The second is to legalize contract farming in the states and the third is to remove the existing laws on marketing of agricultural products and pave the way for free trade in inter-state agricultural products.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act gives private companies the right to buy, store and sell agricultural products directly from farmers. The agitating peasants and the opposition complained that this law was in fact the beginning of the government’s support price. The government wants to get rid of the responsibility of buying agricultural products produced by the farmers. It is feared that the amount of support price that the government currently pays to the farmers will not be paid by the private sector or any trader. Apart from that, since the government does not keep the upper limit for stockpiling essential commodities like rice, pulses, wheat, edible oil, oilseeds etc., the power to control the prices of essential commodities will go to the hands of big traders.
According to the BBC on the controversial agricultural law, the new law simultaneously relaxes the principles related to the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce. These policies have protected Indian farmers from the free market for decades. One of the biggest changes was that the law allowed farmers to sell their produce directly to private buyers at market prices. Most farmers now sell most of their produce in government-controlled wholesale markets. The law would allow buyers to store food items such as rice, wheat and pulses for future sale, which previously government-approved agents could do.
Protesters say India’s strict laws on the sale of agricultural products and high subsidies have protected farmers from market power for decades, so there is no need to change it. But the government argued that the time had come to make smallholder farming profitable and that the new law would make it possible.
In his speech, Narendra Modi said that three agricultural bills were brought with the small farmers in mind. This demand of the country’s farmers’ organization, agro-economists is long standing.
Meanwhile, the opposition leaders are announcing one ‘victory’ after another after announcing the repeal of three agricultural laws at the Center. From Rahul Gandhi to Derek O’Brien — everyone mentioned the victory of the peasantry by firing on the center. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has extended her best wishes to the farmers for the repeal of the Agriculture Act.
In a tweet, Mamata wrote, “My sincere congratulations to all the farmers who fought relentlessly and were not distracted by the BJP’s brutality. This is your victory! My deepest condolences to all those who lost their loved ones in this battle. ”
In this context, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Through satyagraha, the breadwinners of the country bowed their heads to those who were full of arrogance.” Congratulations to all on this victory against injustice. Joy Hind, Joy Kisan! ‘
Indian Farmers Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikayet said their ongoing movement would be withdrawn only if the controversial agricultural law was repealed in the country’s parliament.
Meanwhile, in a tweet in support of Modi, Amit Shah said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on agriculture law is an exemplary step.