The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed both the Agricultural Bills — Farmers’ Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 — even as Congress and DMK MPs walked out of the House during voting.
The Lower House passed the bills related to “reforms” in agriculture marketing after a debate with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stating that the legislations will “end licence raj” and farmers will be free to sell their agricultural produce according to their choice.
The move came after Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Narendra Modi government to protest the new farm bills. Prior to her resignation, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal informed the the Lok Sabha about the development.
Congress MPs from Punjab earlier today burnt copies of the farm bills inside the Parliament complex even as the party staged a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue.
The Congress is opposed to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 that the NDA government has proposed in Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session, replacing the ordinances issued by it earlier.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and assured the farmers that the system of MSP (Minimum Support Price) and government procurement will remain and said that the bills will provide opportunities to the farmers and empower them in true sense.
“The passing of the historic agriculture reform bills in Lok Sabha is important moment for the farmers and agricultural sector of the country. The bills will liberate the farmers from middlemen and other obstacles,” his tweet roughly read in Hindi.
किसानों को भ्रमित करने में बहुत सारी शक्तियां लगी हुई हैं। मैं अपने किसान भाइयों और बहनों को आश्वस्त करता हूं कि MSP और सरकारी खरीद की व्यवस्था बनी रहेगी। ये विधेयक वास्तव में किसानों को कई और विकल्प प्रदान कर उन्हें सही मायने में सशक्त करने वाले हैं। #JaiKisan
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 17, 2020