Why is no one happy with the farmers' bills


NEW DELHI: Threatening to vote against the remaining two bills — The Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill — after voting against The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, BJP’s long time ally and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Sukhbir Singh Badal isn’t the only one who’s unhappy with the three farmers’ bills. So, who else is unhappy?
The farmers: Farmers are apprehensive that they won’t be able to get the minimum support price (MSP), should the bill on prices become a law. That’s because even though it mandates a “guaranteed price”, it doesn’t specify the method of determining it, leaving it open to negotiation by stating that it “may be linked to the prevailing prices”.
The states: While agriculture is a state subject, certain agriculture-related items are there in both the Union and the Concurrent List. The bill on trade and commerce, which allows farmers to sell their produce outside of their respective states’ APMC jurisdiction, prohibits state governments from levying any “market fee or cess” on such trades, which could be inter-state as well.
The traders: The bill on trade and commerce aims to break the cartelisation of the APMCs, as under the current system, farmers could sell their produce to either consumers or companies only via them.
It liberalises trading of farm produce by allowing anyone having a PAN (Permanent Account Number) to buy and sell farm produce, “outside the physical premises of markets or deemed markets”.
The politicians: Farmers, especially across Punjab and Haryana, have voiced their protest against the bills with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh warning of “resentment and unrest” and stating that he will “challenge it (essential commodities bill) in court”.

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