The new farm bills passed in the Rajya Sabha have generated differing reactions to them, with opposition ranging from creating a ruckus in the Parliament to particular members supporting it.
To know about these bills, what changes they bring, and what can be their impact, immediate and long-term, read this story: New Farm Bills In India: Features And Impact
Crux of the Matter
Following are the major points raised by the Opposition leaders against the new bills:
- State Governments would lose revenue.
- MSP is not applicable on private buyers, which might make farmers prone to corporate monopoly.
- The move would mainly benefit the “Big Corporations” instead of farmers.
- Lack of storage capacities (like cold storage), transport capacities, and lack of awareness regarding laws and bargain might bring more loss for farmers when dealing with corporations.
One such example used by the opposing faction was the recent ban on exporting Onion as the prices soared in the country. Critics have claimed that such moves in the future would affect farmers even more with private sector involvement.
- Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of the allies of the BJP, resigned from the post of Food Processing Industries Minister.
- Ruckus was created in the Parliament as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh extended the time of the House beyond 1 PM till a decision on the bill was reached, against which the Opposition demanded to adjourn the House on the scheduled time.
Opposition leaders then broke the mics (including that of the Chairman) and threw papers in the air. 8 MPs including Derek O’Brien from TMC have been suspended for 1 week for the ruckus.
- Farmer groups from Haryana, Punjab, and Maharashtra have been protesting against the Bills since weeks.
- States like Bihar and Kerala have not implemented APMC.
Congress And Mixed Reaction
Congress has been a leading opponent of the farm bills. Spokesperson of the party Jaiveer Shergill claimed that “the Congress manifesto never promoted the idea of abolition of the Minimum Support Price (MSP), unlike the present bills passed by the BJP”.
However, suspended Congress leader Sanjay Jha favoured the Bills. In his tweet, Jha claimed that the “Congress Manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha elections… had proposed abolition of APMC Act and making agricultural produce free from restrictions. This is what the Modi government has done in the farmer’s bills”.
- A price floor is a government- or group-imposed price control or limit on how low a price can be charged for a product, good, commodity, or service. Governments use price floors to keep certain prices from going too low.
- eNAM is an online trading platform for agricultural commodities in India. The market facilitates farmers, traders and buyers with online trading in commodities. The market transactions stood at ₹36,200 crores by January 2018, mostly intra-market.
- Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan was a slogan by the second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, in 1965 at a public gathering in Delhi. In 2015, a film based on Shastri’s life was released which was named after this slogan.