On Tuesday, thousands of farmers across Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana flocked to the streets in protest. Farmers are opposing the agriculture-related ordinances the central government is planning to introduce.
The ordinances in the discussion are Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, and an amendment in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
All these have been tabled as bills for discussion during the ongoing Monsoon sessions and farmers are demanding a rollback of these ordinances.
The farmer unions have claimed that the ordinances will not only phase out the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) but will also bring about corporate dominance.
The government, on the other hand claims that these ordinances are pro-farmers and will provide barrier-free trade for their produce outside notified grain markets. It also claims to empower them to enter farming agreements with private players prior to production for sale of agri-produce.
Despite being opposed by half a dozen political parties led by the Congress and NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 15th September.