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Explained: What are the new Agri Bills and why farmers are unhappy

The passage of three agriculture-related Bills in the Lok Sabha does not seem to have gone down well with farmers and the opposition parties, with farmers erupting in protest.

Published: 19th September 2020 09:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2020 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers’ groups, protesting agriculture Bills, arrive in Patiala. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

The passage of three agriculture-related Bills in the Lok Sabha does not seem to have gone down well with farmers and the opposition parties, with farmers across Haryana, Punjab and Telangana erupting in protest. A look at what the Bills are and why farmers are unhappy: 

What are the three Bills?
The Centre passed three Bills — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

What does the government say about the Bills?
The government claims the legislations will transform the sector and raise farmers’ income. The Centre had promised to double farmers’ income by 2022. It says the Bills will make farmers independent of government-controlled markets and fetch them a better price for their produce.

What are the new provisions in the three Bills?
The Bills propose to create a system where farmers and traders can sell and purchase products outside ‘mandis’. They also encourage intra-state trade and propose to reduce transportation cost. The Bills formulate a framework on agreements that enables farmers to engage with agri-business companies, exporters and retailers for services and sale of produce while giving the farmer access to modern technology.

They provide benefits for small and marginal farmers with less than five hectares of land. The Bills also provide for removal of items such as cereals and pulses from the list of essential commodities and attract FDI.

What are the farmers’ concerns?
Farmers are apprehensive about getting Minimum Support Price for their produce. Other concerns include the upper hand of agri-businesses and big retailers in negotiations, thus putting farmers at a disadvantage. The benefits for small farmers from companies are likely to reduce the engagement of sponsors with them. The farmers also fear that the companies may dictate prices of the commodities. 
 



Comments(5)

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  • Ranjeet Singh

    Recently passed farmers bills will negate the growth of farmers instead of doubling as promised by Modi's government.similar type of experiment was carried on earlier as well on milk. The contract system was complete failure when farmers were forced to spill their excess milk on road as companies declined to buy milk at price demanded by farmers. Modi's government is only giving assurance orally about the continuity of msp. Why can't he give same assurance in writing?? Farmers should have been consulted and taken in confidence before passing such bills.
    26 days ago reply
  • TS Darbari

    The goals of these bills are to liberalize the farming sector and to provide the farmers with better options to sell their produce. The bill seems to be highly beneficial for the farmers. The idea with all three Bills is to liberalize the farm markets in the hope that doing so will make the system more efficient and allow for better price realizations for all concerned, especially the farmers. The central concern, presumably, is to make Indian farming a more remunerative enterprise than it is right now. The bill on Agri market seeks to allow farmers to sell their produce outside APMC 'mandis' to whoever they want. Farmers will get better prices through competition and cost-cutting on transportation. However, this Bill could mean states will lose 'commissions' and 'mandi fees'.
    1 month ago reply
    • libberal

      well, you can't expect farmers to be liberalized after the bill is passed. It is important to make sure the farmers are prepared for what is about to come, as the bill as the current status is can result in farmers having to sell the commodities in much lower price as these big business are going to try to increase there profit at any rate even at expense of farmers income. Well, it would be better to prepare them before launching bills like these.
      1 month ago reply
    • libberal

      well, you can't expect farmers to be liberalized after the bill is passed. It is important to make sure the farmers are prepared for what is about to come, as the bill as the current status is can result in farmers having to sell the commodities in much lower price as these big business are going to try to increase there profit at any rate even at expense of farmers income. Well, it would be better to prepare them before launching bills like these.
      1 month ago reply
  • JAYARAMA BHAT

    The fears seem to be totally imaginary.
    1 month ago reply
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