TIRUCHY: Passing of the two controversial Farm Bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday was met with mixed response from the Delta region. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill 2020, were passed in the Upper House of the Parliament amid stiff opposition.
Welcoming the legislation, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association president V Rajaraman said that allowing farmers to decide the price of their produce was their major demand over the past decade. “The new Bills empower farmers to directly sell their produce at prices they deem fair.
Though some confusion prevails over parts of the Bills, we still welcome the legislation,” he added. However, the Bills have no mention of Farmers Producers Organisations (FPO) and this has led to some confusion among farmer groups. The role FPO would play in the selling process is also uncertain. Rajaraman also said that farmers no more need to pay any cess or levy for selling their produce.
Though this move allows farmers to decide the price, there are no monitoring panels to oversee the prices the farmers set for their produce, said Association for Interlinking National-South Indian Rivers president Ayyakannu. “Now, corporate traders will bring down the prices and no one would buy from the farmers,” he added. “Earlier, traders would purchase farm produce and make instant payments with the market committees.
The new rules allow traders to do direct business with the farmers, which may lead to payment issues and the farmers may be forced to sell at rates set by the traders,” he further said. An official from the Agricultural Marketing department said, “Unlike several other states, Tamil Nadu already has a system which allows the farmer to trade directly.
But they had to pay tax and cess to the department. With these new Bills, farmers need not pay any cess or charges for marketing.” “However, this may lead to a loss of around Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 crore for the department annually. We may have to consider other options for make up for the lost revenue,” the official added.
AIADMK has contrasting stands on the Bills, claims DMK
Chennai: The DMK on Sunday said the AIADMK was taking contrasting stands with regard to the Farm Bills. DMK president MK Stalin said AIADMK MP SR Balasubaramoniyan opposed the Bills in Rajya Sabha on Sunday, while the party members supported the Bills in the Lok Sabha. Stalin, in a press statement, said that as the AIADMK MP opposed the legislation in Lok Sabha, Chief Minister Edappadi K
Palaniswami must apologise for speaking in support of the Bills on Saturday.