On 5 June 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated by the Union Cabinet.
In September 27, 2020, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the three ‘Agriculture Bills’ that were earlier passed by the Indian Parliament. These Farm Acts are as follows:
1. Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
- expands the scope of trade areas of farmers’ produce from select areas to “any place of production, collection, aggregation.
- allows electronic trading and e-commerce of scheduled farmers’ produce.
- prohibits state governments from levying any market fee, cess or levy on farmers, traders, and electronic trading platforms for trade of farmers’ produce conducted in an ‘outside trade area’.
2. Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
- provides a legal framework for farmers to enter into pre-arranged contracts with buyers including mention of pricing.
- defines a dispute resolution mechanism.
3. Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020
- removes foodstuff such as cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds and oils, from the list of essential commodities, removing stockholding limits on such items except under “extraordinary circumstances”
- requires that imposition of any stock limit on agricultural produce be based on price rise.
Protest Against The Law :
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and some other parts are protesting against these laws. Currently there is a major protest going on at Delhi’s borders in India. Opposition parties, including TMC, Congress, DMK and BSP, opposed the agriculture sector reform bills, saying they were against the interests of small and marginal farmers. Congress upped its ante against the Modi government, terming the move a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution.