On Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh placed a draft resolution in the legislative assembly against the historic farm laws passed by the Modi government.
As per reports, the resolution sought to annul the farm laws passed by the government as well as the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020. Besides, it sought for a new ordinance, which would make Minimum Support Price (MSP) a ‘stautory’ right for all farmers for procuring food grains. Through the resolution, the Punjab government demanded that food grains must be procured by the Centre through Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other agencies. The resolution expressed ‘regret’ over Centre’s supposed ‘callousness’ towards the farming community.
Essentially, the farm laws that were aimed to negate the middlemen and empower the farmers have been called ‘callous’ by Captain Amarinder Singh and his party, Congress.
Centre’s farm laws against Constitution, claims Amarinder Singh
“The Assembly is constrained to unanimously reject the three legislations and the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020,” the resolution stated…These three legislations along with the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are clearly against the interests of farmers and landless workers, and time-tested agriculture marketing system established not only in Punjab but also in original green revolution areas of Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP,” the resolution read.
The Punjab Chief Minister claimed, “I find it very strange what the government of India wants to do.” He added that the farm laws, passed by the Parliament were against the Indian Constitution, as agriculture falls under State subject (Entry 14 List-II). The Punjab Chief Minister informed that he had consulted several experts before signing the draft resolution on Monday at 9:30 pm. He had asked all parties to rise above ‘political interests’ and support the resolution.
Punjab Congress introduces 3 bills to counter Centre’s farm laws
He had also opposed the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which seeks to eliminate tariff subsidy in tariff and introduce tariff structure. The resolution stated, “These legislations are a direct attack, and use of subterfuge to encroach upon the functions and the powers of the States, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.”
Besides, the Punjab Congress government had also introduced 3 farm bills, namely, the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill 2020, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill 2020, t, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill 2020.
Three bills introduced by the Modi government
The three bills introduced by the Modi government in the Parliament were: The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
Earlier, these reforms were announced as part of the third tranche of the economic package announced under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The new bills, when passed by the Parliament will give effect to the amendments proposed to the Essential Commodities Act and bring in two new central laws on trading and marketing of farm produce in the country.
The objective of the three proposed laws is to make way for creating the Modi government’s ambitious vision of ‘One India, One Agriculture Market’. The law intends to end the monopoly of Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in carrying out the trade of farm produce in the country and cut out the middle man, thereby empowering the farmers.
Punjab Youth Congress opposes the Farm laws
Last month, as a part of the protest against Centre’s farm laws, Punjab Youth Congress workers brought a tractor on a truck and set it on fire shouting Bhagat Singh slogans near India Gate in New Delhi. Prior to this, Congress had gone on to support the nationwide strike called by the Bharatiya Kisan Union and several other organisations on July 25.
Most of the protests were seen in Punjab, where the ruling Congress government is joining the protests. Although the bills bring much-needed changes to the farm laws that are extremely beneficial for the farmers, which were proposed by the Congress party also when they were in power, now they are opposing the bills for political purposes. Going by its penchant the Congress party has also been using the social media to spread canards against the Narendra Modi government.