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Kerala has no APMCs in the state, but Communist govt calls assembly session to ‘reject’ farm laws

The decision was taken by the Kerala government after a cabinet meeting on Sunday where was decided that the state government will approach the Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to call a special assembly session.

Even though Kerala has not implemented the APMC Acts, the Communist government in the state has decided to convene a special Assembly session on December 23 to discuss and reject the three newly introduced Farm Bills that were passed by the Centre in September 2020.

State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac informed that the Communist government in Kerala has called in a special Assembly session on Wednesday this week to pass a resolution against the farm laws enacted by the Centre.

According to the reports, the decision was taken by the Kerala government after a cabinet meeting that was held yesterday in which it was decided that the state government will approach the Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to call a special assembly session.

Opposition parties, including Congress, have extended their support for the move. In the 140-member house, the BJP has just a single legislator. During the one-hour session, a motion would be introduced to reject the bills and it will be put to vote. It has been reported that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala have reached a consensus in this regard and the resolution is likely to be passed unanimously.

Kerala has not implemented the APMC Act

However, while the Kerala government proceeds to reject the Farm Bills in a special Assembly session, it is notable to mention that Kerala has no APMCs, which is a bone of contention for the protesting farmers that have swarmed the national capital borders. The protesters are alleging that the new Farm Bills would effectively render the APMCs powerless and allow private players to have greater sway in buying the agricultural produce and thereby regulate the pricing.

Interestingly, Kerala doesn’t even have APMCs as the state never implemented the APMC act.

PM Modi and several other Cabinet Minister have dispelled this notion many times that the APMCs would continue to exist as they already do and the new Farm Bills would only unlock new opportunities for the farmers to sell their produce directly to the buyers as per their choice.

Kerala, on the other hand, has not implemented the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee(APMC) Act of 2003 and therefore has no APMCs in the state. There are no statutory regulations prevailing. There are no controls for the agricultural market. Government and LSG institutions provide marketing infrastructure. Paradoxically, despite having no APMCs in the state, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government hs extended their solidarity to the protesters who fear that the new Farm Bills would abolish the APMCs in their states.

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