New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave his nod to the three contentious farm bills which were recently passed in Parliament amid strong objection from some opposition parties.
More than a dozen opposition parties had said that the bills are anti-farmer and corporate-friendly, and urged President Kovind not to sign them. There were protests by farmers in many states, with those in north India being most expressive.
The opposition parties alleged that the bills were passed “unconstitutionally” in “complete disregard” of parliamentary norms.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a partner in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition government at the Centre, had pulled out of the government.
The government has maintained that these ‘landmark’ legislations will make farmers self-reliant, and has notified them following the President’s assent.
What are the three Farm Bills all about?
Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020: Seeks to provide the farmers freedom to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). This is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020: Seeks to give farmers the right to enter into a contract with agri business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.
Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020: Seeks to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion, and potato from the list of essential commodities and will do away with the imposition of stock holding limits.