Farmers across India protest against farm bills. In photos

Famer organisations across India are up in arms against the farm bills notified by the government on Sunday after President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent.

The three bills – The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 – have now become acts.

According to the opposition parties, the bills were passed “unconstitutionally” in “complete disregard” of parliamentary norms and are anti-farmer and corporate-friendly.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parted ways over the issue of farm bills. SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal had resigned from the Union Cabinet earlier.

The government claims that the bills will ensure a higher profit for the farmers as they would be able to sell their produce to whomever and wherever they want .

“They have the power to sell their fruits or vegetables to anyone, and anywhere. It is this power which is the foundation of their growth, now the same power has been given to farmers across the country. They have got the freedom to sell not only fruits and vegetables but grains, sugarcane, mustard and anything that they grow, they can now sell to anyone and anywhere they like,” PM Modi said while addressing the 69th edition of his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme.

The farmers fear that the bills would render the current Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system ineffective, leaving them at the mercy of “big farmers” and they would be forced to make distress sales to private companies.

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