In June 2020, three farm bills were introduced in the Parliament:
- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020.
2. Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance.
3. Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
What is Changing :
- Sell Produce Beyond APMC Mandis.
- Online Trading of Farm Produce.
- No Market Fee by State Governments.
- Introduction of Contract Farming Agreements.
- Settlement of Disputes under Contract Farming Agreements.
- Deregulation of certain Essential Commodities.
- Stock Limits.
What is Changing in the Agricultural Sector of India
- Absence of MSP Guarantee.
- Minimal Negotiating / Bargaining Power for Small and Marginal Farmers making them Vulnerable at the hands of Corporates. As Clearly, the latter would have an Upper Hand over the Price of their Produce.
- Through these New Farm Laws, Traders would assume the position of Middlemen who would now have an Upper Say in Negotiating Power of Farm Produce.
- Parliamentary Procedures Flouted while passing these Laws. W/o Due Discussion, No Consultation of Farmers and enforced through a Voice Vote.
- Key Idea, Intent and Motive lies in Centralising Country’s Governance (along with NEP and Abrogation of Article 370,etc.). Thus, also destroying, attacking and Moulding the Federal Structure of the Constitution in the Process.
- Diminishing Seller’s Market and a New Culture of Buyer’s Market would Set in.
At the end, it is the Customer who would pay dearly. It is a burn on the Customer’s Pocket.
Repeal of the Farm Laws: What Farmers Are Waiting For
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Parliament will take up the repeal of the farm laws in Winter Session (mid-November to mid-December) . Farmers’ bodies welcomed this move but said they will wait for the repealing of the three farm laws in Parliament before they stop their protests.
- How is a law repealed?
There are two ways in which the government can repeal a law—
- Parliament can pass a new law on the same subject-matter with a repealing clause.
- Parliament can pass a repealing act which can include the repeal of multiple laws. This happened in 2019 when the Government repealed 58 obsolete laws.
Both processes involve the passing of a new act of law.
- How is a law passed?
To pass a Bill, the Parliament has to follow this process :
Introduction of a Bill
A minister can move a motion in either house with 7 days’ notice. Another minister can object to the introduction of the Bill on the ground that it lies outside the jurisdiction of the Parliament, or it is in violation to the provisions of the Constitution of India, 1950. If it is introduced, it is called the “First Reading” of the Bill.
Reference to a Standing or Select Committee
The House in which the Bill was introduced can refer it to a Standing or Select Committee for deeper examination. It is an optional step and the other House can also do the same, if the introductory House does not refer it .
This is the stage after the Committee gives its report. There is a general discussion, and time for debate is allotted according to the strength of each party.
This is known as the “Second Reading” where the Members of Parliament read and discuss each clause. At this stage, Members can suggest amendments, which may be included, if the majority of the members present and voting accept it.
This is known as the “Third Reading” of the Bill where a debate is conducted, and a vote is taken to pass it with the amendments. A simple majority is needed to pass the Bill.
When the First House passes the Bill, it is sent to the other house for consideration and passing.
After both the Houses pass the Bill, the President must sign it. The President can choose to sign it or return it for reconsideration. In the latter case, if the Parliament returns the Bill without any changes, the President is obligated to give their assent. After this, the Bill becomes an Act.
Author: Aahna Mishra