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Tags Current Affairs

Rajasthan farm Bills

Date: 01 November 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Rajasthan Assembly tabled three Bills to negate the impact of Centre’s new farm laws cleared by the Parliament in September.

 

Background

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

 

Details

  • The introduction of the Bills come in the backdrop of fierce protests by farmers, especially in Punjab and Haryana, after the Central government passed the legislations hurriedly in the Parliament.

  • The three Bills introduced in Rajasthan are similar to the amendment Bills passed by Punjab, another Congress ruled state, on October 20. 

  • For the first two Bills, the state government cites “extraordinary outrage amongst the farmers, farm labourers and all others engaged in incidental and ancillary agricultural activities, including those engaged in production, handling and sale of agricultural produce including vegetables, fruits etc” due to the central laws.

  • The state government says the central laws are vulnerable to encroachment and manipulation by vested corporate interests through provisions contained therein and leaving the farmer open to the vagaries of market forces.

  • For the third Bill — The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020, the state says that the amendment passed by the Centre empowers the government to control production, supply and distribution of essential commodities. 

  • The Bill, which relates to the Centre’s Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, seeks to penalise traders, if they harass farmers, with a punishment of 3-7 years or a minimum fine of Rs 5 lakh, or both. 

  • The Central law prohibited imposition of any “market fee or cess or levy” on any farmer or trader or electronic trading in a farmers’ produce trade area.

  • The Rajasthan Bill allows the state to impose a fee/cess, etc on agricultural produce brought or bought or sold “by a corporate or trader” and then credit it back to farmers, through various means, for their welfare.

  • It also states that a dispute may be resolved through the State APMC Act rather than through a sub-divisional Magistrate, as given in the Central Act.

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