The Indian government has brought three bills to improve the agriculture sector. After the approval of the Farmers Bill 2020 in both houses and the President, this bill has now become law. Although farmers in Punjab and Haryana are protesting against the new laws. The government of India says that three new law bills will benefit farmers and increase their income. However, farmers are opposing the central government. Farmers have been protesting against the Central Government from several days and demanding the cancellation of the bill Farmers Bill 2020. A large number of political parties have also come in support of the farmers' movement. So let's know what is the Farmers Bill 2020? After all, why are farmers opposing the Farmers Bill 2020?
1. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The main objective of the law is to control hoarding of essential commodities to keep their production, supply and prices under control. But in the new law of the central government, there is a provision to remove grains, pulses, oilseeds, edible oil, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities.
Why farmers are protesting?
Farmers organizations say that this bill of the central government will not benefit the farmers but benefit the capitalists or corporate houses. According to the new law, the government will control the supply of goods only in extreme circumstances like famine, war.
2. Agricultural Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
According to this new law of the Central Government, the farmer will now be able to sell his crops anywhere along with APMC (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee.) The government says "With this new law, farmers will get the freedom to sell their crops outside the APMC. The farmers will be able to go to another state to sell their crops. Apart from this, farmers will not have to pay any fees to the mandis.
Why farmers are protesting?
Farmers say "The government has not made it clear whether the farmers will get the minimum price if they'll sell their crops outside the market." Farmers fear that when the crop production is high, the traders will buy the crop from the farmers outside the mandis at a lower price.
3. Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act, 2020
According to this new law, now farmers can contract with the merchant even before growing the crop. The agreement will cover things like the price of the crops and their quality. Under this, the trader will pay two-thirds of the contract amount at the time of delivery of the crops, and the remaining money will have to be paid within 30 days. Along with this, the merchant has the responsibility of transportation of the crops from the field.
Why farmers are protesting?
The farmers say that even though the government has permitted to store the crops, the farmers are not able to store the crops, whereas the traders have the system to store the crop. In such a situation, the right to decide the price of the crops will come to the big traders or companies and the role of the farmers will be negligible.
What are the demands of farmers?
Farmers have been demonstrating their demands for the last several days in the protest against the agriculture Law brought by the central government. The farmers say that the protests will continue till the government agrees to their demands. Some of the main demands of the farmers' from the government are as follows.
1. Cancel all the three laws brought in the name of reform in the agriculture sector and replace them with new laws. Before introducing the new law, the government should talk to the farmers and include their demands in the new bill.
2. The government of India should bring a bill, through which the farmers are assured in writing that the MSP and the Conventional Food Grain Procurement System will not end.
3. Apart from the agriculture bill brought by the central government, farmers are also protesting about electricity bill 2020. The Central Government has replaced the Electricity Act 2003 with the Electricity (Amended) Bill 2020. Farmers' organizations are also opposing this. Farmers allege that the government is trying to privatize the electricity distribution system through this bill. By doing this, the subsidy on electricity and free electricity facility will be lost to the farmers. Besides, there will also be a possibility of getting expensive electricity due to privatization of electricity.
4. Farmers There is also a demand that the farmers arrested in Punjab for burning stubble should be released. According to a provision, the farmer can be imprisoned for up to five years and fined one crore rupees for burning stubble.
Why are farmers protesting only in North India?
The biggest question is why farmers of North India are opposing farmer's bill-2020, whereas the bill is implementing on all the farmers of India. The reason for this, central and state governments only buy 10 Percent produce of the whole country from farmers under APMC. The remaining 90 Percent of agriculture production sell in the open market. In contrast, the situation in Punjab is totally opposite. In Punjab, 90% of agricultural produce sale at the minimum support price in the mandis of APMC, and the remaining 10 Percent of agricultural produce sale in the open market. That's why the farmers of North India get more prices of wheat and rice compared to other states including Madhya Pradesh, Bihar. That's why farmers from Punjab are opposing Agriculture bill 2020. Farmers fear that if they go out of the APMCs system by selling their goods to private buyers, the private businessman will exploit them.
Dr. Sudhir Giri