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  • Shreeparna Goswami

How can farm laws be misuse?

Introduction

Farmers have a great significant role in society. They are the ones who give food to eat by struggling every day in every season. They work hard for an entire year and waits for their goods. A farmer is a person who lives his life to grow crops for other people. The farmers of India are the core structure of our demographic dividend. Farming is the major source of employment for about 58% of the population in India.[1] Agriculture provides almost 17% of the Indian economy.[2] Just because of farmers India is a country full of grains. But these farmer by whom people live without hunger, are now protesting for their livelihood against the Farm Bill, 2020.

What is farm bill 2020?

On 5th June 2020, in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the president of India gave his assent to the three-farmer bill enacted by the Union government[3] which conduct to disassemble the existing trade and distribution monopoly, is enjoyed by the Food Corporation of India and the Agricultural Produce Market.


Farm Bill 2020 is a collection of 3 bills, these bills are stated below:

  1. Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020,

  2. Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020,

  3. Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.


Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020


This bill is a part of the New Farm Bill 2020. The purpose of this Act is to break the monopoly of government-regulated man and give farmers and dealers freedom of option of sale and purchase of agriculture produce. This Act enables intra-state and inter-state business of farmers’ crop outside the premises of markets instructed under the State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislation.

In accumulation to mandis, freedom to execute trading at the farmgate, warehouse, cold storage, processing units. [4]


The farmers will not be charged with any fee for the sale of their crops and will not have to pay transport fees. It also recommends an e-trading commerce platform for confirming a seamless transaction electronically.


Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020


This Act purpose to initiates the process of contract farming which is an alternative for the farmers of India to trade their crops outside the APMC by arranging a cost-beneficial framework. The minimum duration of the contract shall be 1 season or 1 crop cycle and the utmost of up to 5 years.[5] The sponsor is prohibited from cultivating the farmer's land or for the objective of sale, lease of the land. The farming agreements between the farmer and sponsor may cancel or be distorted by reciprocal approval under adequate conditions.


Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020


This Act is one of the three farm laws newly legislated in India by the Parliament. This Act entrusts the central government to regulate the production, supply, distribution, business, and marketing of certain products. It wants to expand competition in the farming sector and enhance farmer's income. It seeks to liberalize the regulatory system while maintaining the attention of customers.

Why Farmer Protest against the New Farm Bill?

In India, there have been nationwide protests by farmers against the new Farmer Bill 2020 particularly in Haryana, Punjab, and western Uttar Pradesh. After the enactment of Farm Bill 2020, farmers worry that these 3 bills may abolish the Minimum Selling Price safety protection from their hands. Minimum Selling Price is upheld to the farmers that if they are not eligible to trade their farm crops at a reasonable price in the markets then the government would purchase their farming crop at a fixed price.


The farmers are further afraid that the private corporation will compose statements to compel farmers into an inimical contract. The farmer stated that it would be very tough for a farmer to always comprehend the norms cited in the trade agreement before accepting it.


Hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers have trekked upon Delhi and set up huge camps obstructing Delhi in protest at farming laws. The farmers call these Acts anti-farmer Acts. The government has asserted that the farming laws are important that provide farmers more autonomy over the trading of their products and will sever huge unnecessary monopolies, but the farmers are boycotting the farming laws because the deregulation of product pricing will leave the farmers at the mercy of big companies.


Misuse of Farmer Bill

The Farm Bill is only elegant and embellishing from the exterior but inside it is replenished with a lot of depletion. The Farmer Bill 2020 is an anti-farmer bill and corporate-friendly. The three new bills on agriculture have some misuses they are stated below:


First of all, the Parliament of India enacted a total of 7 bills in just 3 hours with limited members existing in the house and without a genuine discussion.[6]


With these bills, the corporation can gain much more revenue than in previous years. Grains, pulses, and onions have been reduced from the list of essential products in these bills. Thus, the government and other big corporations will not have to pay a limited amount for it to the farmers.

As per the Acts, the farmers can sell their crop to the private consumers at the rate they want but they would not intervene with the private consumers and they will eventually be compelled to sell at a rate referred by the consumer i.e., big companies. The farmers have to sell their crops because the storage faculty is not easily available to most of the farmers. This will govern the farmers getting oppressed by the big corporate companies.


If the farmers accepting a contract with the corporate companies and due to some reasons decline to generate the decided amount, the farmers will not get any compensation. Hence, the farmers become the slaves of the big companies.


There will be no choice for farmers if private consumers reject to buy the crop. The APMC markets would not accept the MSP and will compel the farmers to sell the crop at the rate they mention. Though the government has ensured that the MSP would not be discarded, it is not mentioned on the bill. Therefore, this assurance is turn out to be a blank promise.


The farmers will have zero option left but to sell their property to the corporations who will then commence requiring farmers on their businesses.


Conclusion

Farming is the backbone of the Indian economy. But the recent enacted farm bill 2020 made the farmers into the servant of private companies. These three Acts are the main example of why decision making should implicate the bearer of the outcomes that occur from the wrong verdicts of the government. The government should communicate these Acts with farmers to be more profitable and beneficial. The union government asserts that these farmer bills are best for farmers, yet the opposition parties see the bills as a motive behind getting the vote. Ultimately, the farmers of India become victims of the new farm bill 2020.


Reference

[1]Agriculture in India: Industry Overview, Market Size, Role in Development...| IBEF, https://www.ibef.org/industry/agriculture-india.aspx#:~:text=Agriculture%20is%20the%20primary%20source,stood%20at%204%25%20in%20FY20. [2]Agriculture in India – Wikipedia, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_India. [3]President Kovind gives his assent for 3 farm bills passed by Parliament, https://www.livemint.com/news/india/president-kovind-gives-his-assent-for-three-farm-bills-passed-by-parliament-11601210482225.html. [4]Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 https://ruralindiaonline.org/en/library/resource/the-farmers-produce-trade-and-commerce-promotion-and-facilitation-act-2020/. [5]Do Farm Laws 2020 remind you of East India Company and contract farming? | free press journal, https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/do-farm-laws-2020-remind-you-of-east-india-company-and-contract-farming. [6]Explained: Are New Farm Bills Anti-Farmer? All You Need to Know, https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-the-farm-bills-and-quandary/360640.

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