Rajasthan 2nd Cong-ruled state to carry personal farm Bills to counter Central legal guidelines

Written by Hamza Khan
| Jaipur |

November 1, 2020 4:30:42 am

The growth comes after over a month of protests by farmers throughout Punjab, Haryana

Rajasthan grew to become the second Congress-ruled state after Punjab to counter the Centre’s new farm legal guidelines when it tabled three Bills within the state Assembly Saturday, saying there was “extraordinary outrage” amongst farmers.

State Parliamentary Affairs minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal launched The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020; and, The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020, within the Assembly.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former CM and BJP chief Vasundhara Raje have been amongst these current within the House.

The transfer comes after the Punjab Assembly unanimously handed 4 Bills, together with three modification Bills, to counter the Centre’s new legal guidelines. The Bills tabled by Rajasthan are just like the Bills handed by Punjab, however the Rajasthan Bills are extra stringent relating to taking motion in opposition to merchants who harass farmers.

The key clauses within the three Rajasthan Bills embody setting the Minimum Support Price (MSP) because the decrease restrict for farming agreements, punishing merchants in the event that they harass farmers, and empowering the state authorities to manage the manufacturing, provide, distribution and inventory limits underneath extraordinary circumstances.


More strict than Punjab

The Bills are just like the Punjab laws, however are extra stringent relating to punishing merchants who harass farmers. The jail time period could be 3-7 years or minimal high quality of Rs 5 lakh, or each.

The state authorities stated it felt the necessity to usher in a laws following “extraordinary outrage amongst the farmers, farm labourers and all others engaged in incidental and ancillary agricultural actions together with these engaged in manufacturing, dealing with and sale of agricultural produce together with greens, fruits and so on.” following the enactment of central legal guidelines.

It stated that “the direct consequence of the Central Act(s) could be to nullify the minimal assist value mechanism that has stood the check of time and introduce a number of different infirmities and distortions working to the grave detriment and prejudice of agriculture and the communities related to it”.

The state stated the central regulation “is weak to encroachment and manipulation by vested company pursuits by means of provisions contained therein and leaving the farmer open to the vagaries of market forces for getting remunerative value for agriculture produce, together with vegetables and fruit. No test has been supplied in opposition to exploitation of farmer”.

The state authorities, citing the Agriculture Census 2015-16, stated that 86.2 per cent of farmers personal lower than 5 acres of land and a majority of them personal lower than two acres of land, thus falling within the class of small and marginal farmers “and consequently have restricted or no entry to a number of markets with an inherent handicap of bargaining energy to barter honest value contracts”.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020, seeks to penalise merchants, in the event that they harass farmers, with a punishment of 3-7 years or a minimal high quality of Rs 5 lakh, or each. According to the Bill, harassment might be handled as dedicated when the dealer doesn’t settle for the supply of the farm produce agreed upon or, having accepted the supply, doesn’t make the fee to the farmer in accordance with the phrases of the settlement or inside three days from the date of receipt of supply of products, whichever is earlier.

It additionally states {that a} dispute could also be resolved by means of the state APMC Act and guidelines made thereunder, fairly than by means of a Sub Divisional Magistrate, as supplied within the central Act.

Similarly, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020, seeks to penalise any firm or affiliation which compels or exerts a farmer to promote his produce under the MSP — in Punjab, the federal government had introduced imprisonment of minimal three years and high quality for a similar offence.

This state Bill additionally inserts a key clause within the central Act, stating that “no Farming Agreement for the sale or buy of a crop shall be legitimate except the value paid for such agricultural produce is the same as, or better than, the prevailing minimal assist costs, introduced by the Central Government for that crop”.

With the central Act additionally stating that following a farming settlement, the stated agriculture produce is exempt from any state Act, the Rajasthan authorities seeks to impose a charge or cess to the produce underneath the APMC Act and utilise it for the welfare of farmers. Crucially, the burden of the charge or cess “shall not be transferred on the farmer,” states the Bill.

The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020 empowers the state “to order for regulating or prohibiting the manufacturing, provide, distribution, imposing inventory limits underneath extraordinary circumstances, which can embody famine, value rise, pure calamity or some other state of affairs”.

The state maintained that the Centre’s amendments “give limitless energy of stocking important commodities and buying and selling in them to the peril of the agricultural neighborhood and shoppers however doesn’t permit the state authorities to behave in opposition to and penalize hoarders and black-marketers,” whereas the “onus lies upon the state authorities to guard shoppers from hoarding and black-marketing of agricultural produce together with greens, fruits, and so on.”

The state authorities additionally tabled a Bill to amend part 60 of Code of Civil Procedure “to guard the pursuits and livelihood of agriculturists of the state”. According to the Bill, if the judgement-debtor is an agriculturist, then his agricultural land to the extent of 5 acres shall not be liable to attachment or sale.

The Assembly was adjourned till Monday after tabling of two extra Bills and obituary references to former President Pranab Mukherjee and different leaders who handed away just lately.

Article 254(2) of the Constitution permits a state to make adjustments to a central laws on a topic on the Concurrent List provided that it will get Presidential assent. While the Congress social gathering doesn’t anticipate the President to clear any transfer to avoid the brand new farm legal guidelines, its management believes that passage of counter Bills by party-ruled states could be “a robust political assertion”.

Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra stated the three Bills handed by the Centre are interlinked “so {that a} businessman can hoard, rob farmer’s produce and finish MSP as soon as the mandis are completed. Hence, our authorities is bringing Bills to counter these three issues and make sure the welfare of our farmers”.

BJP state president Satish Poonia stated: “Rather than discussing the poor regulation and order state of affairs within the state, why is Gehlot deceptive the farmers by attempting to please Sonia Gandhi by means of the Bills?”. Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore stated the BJP will oppose the Bills when the Assembly reconvenes on Monday.

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