Punjab Introduces New Bills to Neutralize Farm Laws of Modi Govt

Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh introduces new Bills in the Vidhan Sabha on October 20, 2020.
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh introduces new Bills in the Vidhan Sabha on October 20, 2020.

By RMN News Service

The Punjab Government of Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh today (October 20) introduced new Bills in the Vidhan Sabha (Assembly) to neutralize the effect of recently enacted farms laws by the PM Narendra Modi’s Central government.

While addressing the House, Amarinder Singh moved a resolution to reject the three farm laws passed by the Indian Parliament. His move is a kind of revolt against the Modi government. But the CM said that he is ready to sacrifice his position and the government to protect farmers’ rights.

The Bills are:

1. The Farmers Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill, 2020: It provides that no sale or purchase of wheat or paddy shall be valid unless price paid for it is equal to or greater than the maximum support price (MSP). Anyone buying below MSP will be imprisoned for 3 years.

2. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020: It states that no sale or purchase of wheat and paddy under a farming agreement will take place below MSP, and those who violate it will be punished for up to 3 years in jail.

3. The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020: It is supposed to protect the consumers from hoarding and black marketing of agriculture produce and secures and protects the livelihood of farmers as well as farm labourers.

Besides these 3 agriculture bills, the Punjab Assembly also rejected the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020, saying that these laws are against the interests of farmers of Punjab, Haryana, and western UP.

With the slogan, “Karza Kurki Khatam, Fasal Di Puri Rakam” (no attachment of land, full prices for crops), Punjab has also passed a Bill “Amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908” to protect the farmers from Kurki in any recovery proceedings. Land holdings up to 2.5 acres shall not be attached in any recovery.

A section of Punjab farmers has appreciated the Punjab Government’s decision of introducing these Bills, which are expected to be opposed by the Modi government.

Of late, the Modi government has passed 3 connected Bills to make them laws. These are: the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of farmers in India are defying the safe-distancing coronavirus guidelines to protest on roads against the Modi government and the new laws. Farmers fear that these laws will deprive them of their farming rights and they will lose their lands which will be grabbed by Modi’s capitalist friends.

Although the farmers across the nation are protesting against Modi government’s decision, the epicenter of the movement is Punjab which contributes the lion’s share to the Indian agriculture sector.

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Rakesh Raman