English News


Govt tables Bills to implement farm sector reforms

<p style="font-weight: 400;">The Narendra Modi government today introduced three Bills aimed at offering greater choice to the farmers to sell their produce.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar tabled two Bills in the Lok Sabha to replace ordinance promulgated on June 5—the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve introduced The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, said a government press release.</p>
Tomar said that the measures contained in the new laws will enable barrier-free trade in agricultural produce, and also empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice. "These steps are only the latest in a series of measures taken by the government, which shows its continuous commitment to championing the cause of welfare of the farmers of India," he said.

Responding to the members opposing the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Tomar said that this measure will enable farmers to decide the prices of their produce and they will be free to sell their produce wherever they want.
<p style="font-weight: 400;">This Bill seeks to provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers' produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free intra- and inter-state trade and commerce of farmers' produce outside physical premises of markets or deemed markets notified under various state agricultural produce market legislations.</p>
It will also provide a facilitative framework for electronic trading.
<p style="font-weight: 400;">The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, seeks to provide for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, seeks to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">The government maintains that while India has become surplus in most agri-commodities, farmers have been unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export as the entrepreneurial spirit gets dampened due to the Essential Commodities Act.</p>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">Noting farmers suffer huge losses when there are bumper harvests, especially of perishable commodities, an official statement said that this legislation will help drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of the food supply chain.</p>
It will create a competitive market environment and also prevent wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities, as per the statement.


(with agency inputs).