Punjab govt. presents 3 Bills to negate Centre’s three agriculture laws

Terming that the Centre’s three agriculture sector laws were against farmers’ interest, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday presented three Bills in the State Assembly to negate the Centre’s legislation.

The Bills were The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Earlier, as the proceedings of special Assembly session began, the Chief Minister moved a draft resolution rejecting the farm laws, describing them as ‘anti-farmers’, and the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 and demanded they be scrapped.

The draft resolution seeks annulment of the farm laws and the proposed Electricity Bill, as well as promulgation of “a fresh ordinance making the procurement of food grains on the Minimum Support Price a statutory right of the farmers and continue with procurement by Government of India through FCI and other such agencies.”

‘Frivolous activities’

Regretting that several MLAs indulged in “frivolous activities” on Monday to gain political mileage, with some coming in tractors and some spending the night in the Assembly precincts in protest against non-receipt of his government’s Bills, the Chief Minister said he had signed the same at 9.30 p.m. after extensive discussions and consultations with various experts. “Such delays in sharing copies of Bills happen in emergent session,” he said.

Captain Amarinder Singh said the Bills being presented on Tuesday would form the basis of the State’s legal battle ahead and, hence, needed to be thoroughly vetted before presentation.

The draft resolution expressed the Assembly’s deep regret over the “callous and inconsiderate attitude of the government of India in attending to the concerns of the farming community on recent allegedly farm legislation enacted by them.”

“These three legislation along with the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are clearly against the interests of farmers and landless workers, and time-tested agriculture marketing system established not only in Punjab but also in the original green revolution areas of Punjab, Haryana, and western UP,” it said, adding that the government of India had clearly enacted trade legislation and not farm legislation.

The draft resolution, read out by Speaker Rana K.P. Singh, said that these laws were also against the Constitution of India (Entry 14 List-II), which said agriculture was a subject of the State. These legislation were a direct attack, and use of subterfuge to encroach upon the functions and the powers of the States, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution, it said.

Source: The Hindu

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