central government released the model farming acts in 2017, the idea was to double the income of farmers. However, it was found that after a certain period of time a number of the reforms suggested in the model acts had not been implemented by the states. To discuss the implementation a committee of seven Chief Ministers was set up in July 2019. In the first week of June 2020, the central Government of India promulgated three ordinances.
President Raj NathKovind gave his assent to controversial ‘Agricultural Bills’ on September 27, 2020, and the center has notified the bills on Sunday, making them law now that was earlier passed by the Parliament of India. These three bills are listed below-
1-Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
2- On September 14, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha and passed in Lok Sabha on September 17, 2020.
When these two bills were introduced in Rajya Sabha there was a ruckus in the house and then finally was passed through voice vote. President gave his assent on September 24, as per a notification issued by the Law Ministry.
3- Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 signed by the president on September 26.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha had met the president on September 23, handling him over a representation on behalf of various opposition parties and it emerges that the president signed the two of these bills just a day after he met. Azad told that the bill had been passed unconstitutionally and should be returned. Azad had also told the President that the government should have consulted with all other parties and the leader of farmers before bringing farm bills into existence.
These bills were passed by the Lok Sabha on 15 and 18 September 2020 and initially these ordinances were introduced as bills. Later, on 20 September, the Rajya Sabha also passed the three bills by 22 September, thus converting them into acts.
WHY ARE FARMERS PROTESTING?
The government had made promises in 2016 to double the income of farmers till the year 2022, but this seems to be unrealistic on all grounds as to achieve the same one needs to do reforms( M.S Swaminathan report 2004).
The primary sector is agriculture and if it distorts then all other sectors will get afflicted. Reformation in APMC, MSP, and the pattern of the crop is needed to get the maximum profit. These bills may be the platform that the central government is setting up for the replacement or scrapping of the otherwise robust support system prevalent in their states for the purchase of their crops. Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantees that was their safety net since the Green Revolution of the 1960s kicked in, may be snatched away from under the pretext of giving the farmers more playing ground and better platforms.
23 agricultural crops have MSPs, though the governments primarily buy only rice and wheat. These agriculture reform processes will kill the government procurement process as well as the MSP. And why we see most protesters from Punjab and Haryana? That is because they are the biggest beneficiaries of this safety net.