Farm Bills cleared in Parliament amid massive uproar by Opposition

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Farm bills cleared in Parliament.&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspANI

Key Highlights

  • The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed the two contentious farm Bills by a voice vote.

  • Opposition MPs raised slogans against the government and some also threw out the papers in the Upper House.

  • The Bills were passed in the Lok Sabha late Thursday night.

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed the two contentious farm Bills by a voice vote amid massive uproar by the Members of Parliament and protests led by farmers in Punjab and Haryana.

The Farmers’ and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 were cleared in Parliament. The Bills were passed in the Lok Sabha late Thursday night by a voice vote.

Opposition MPs storm the session

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien entered the well of the House and showed the rule book to Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh during the discussion in the House on the Bills. A huge ruckus was created as Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar was answering to the concerns raised by Opposition MPs.

Opposition MPs raised slogans against the government and some also threw out the papers in the Upper House. Slogan-shouting opposition members, including those from the TMC, Congress and Left, created a huge ruckus as the Deputy Chairman did not consider their demand for a division of votes on a resolution to send the two Bills to a select committee.

Earlier, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had demanded that reply to the debate on the two Bills be deferred for tomorrow as the scheduled time for sitting on Sunday was over.

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 9 am tomorrow.

As per the government, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 permits the electronic trading of farmers’ produce and allows the setting up of transaction platforms for facilitating direct online buying and selling of farm products. 

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 allows for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. Such agreements will mention a guaranteed price to be paid for the purchase of farming produce.

Why are farmers protesting?

The bills are facing staunch opposition from farmer bodies as well as from within the ruling coalition. Farmers say they the government should have consulted them on the bills, which were promulgated as ordinances earlier, as they could adversely impact them. They are apprehensive that once these bills are passed, they would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system and leave the farming community at the “mercy” of big corporates.

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