What are the new Farm Laws?
1. The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
- Provides freedom for inter-state and intra-state trade of the farmers’ produce. It allows to go beyond the APMC markets.
- The State government is not allowed to levy any fee or tax outside the APMC areas.
- The farmers are given the opportunity to do electronic trading of their produce.
- Provides dispute settlement mechanism through: conciliation board, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Appellate Authority
2. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
- Provides for an agreement between the buyer and the farmer prior to the production of the produce
- The agreement is for minimum of one crop season and maximum for five years
- The price of the farm produce will be clearly mentioned in the agreement and if cannot be determined then the process of price determination will be clearly mentioned.
3. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
- cereals, pulses, potatoes, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils were removed from the essential commodities list
Since 26 November farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been camping near the Delhi borders and taking part in the Farmers’ protest against the Farm Laws. Following are the demands of the farmers-
- Scrap the three farm laws
- Bring a new law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price for their crops
The argument given by the union is that farm laws will slowly tear down the MSP system and eventually the corporates will dictate the market as per their whims and fancies. The new laws additionally permit traders to stockpile food. It will make it easier for the traders to misuse their position during inflation. Also, the laws remove many safeguards from the picture. Since 80% of Indian farmers are small scaled, they fear that they will have no bargaining power and will have to work on the terms set solely by the big corporates.