The Punjab cabinet has authorised chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to introduce a Bill to counter the Centre’s farm laws amid the protests by farmers in the state.(HT Photo)
The Punjab cabinet has authorised chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to introduce a Bill to counter the Centre’s farm laws amid the protests by farmers in the state.(HT Photo)

Punjab CM to introduce Bill to counter Centre’s farm laws on Tuesday as special assembly session begins

House adjourned for the day even as opposition AAP, Shiromani Akali Dal demand copies of Bills to be tabled in the session
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2020 01:19 PM IST

The two-day special session of the Punjab assembly convened to introduce a Bill to counter the Centre’s farm laws began on Monday morning with obituary references that included farmers who died during the ongoing agitation against liberalising agriculture.

The House was adjourned for an hour after paying tributes to Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu of Tarn Taran, former Punjabi University Joginder Singh Puar, lance naik Karnail Singh, besides freedom fighters Mahinder Singh, Sardar Singh, Rai Singh Patanga and Hemraj Mittal, who passed away recently.

The session resumed around noon but was adjourned for the day after adopting a resolution to extend the duration of the special session by a day. On Sunday, the state cabinet authorised chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to introduce the Bill to counter the Centre’s three farm laws. It will be presented in the House for approval on Tuesday.

Earlier, leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema of the Aam Aadmi Party asked for copies of the Bills to be tabled by the Congress government, particularly the one related to the Centre’s farm Bills.

Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Gurpartap Singh Wadala also demanded that the Bill on the farm laws should be taken up on Monday itself as the special session had been convened for the purpose. Thereafter, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for the day.

Defiant Akali MLAs insisted that they be allowed inside the Punjab Bhawan to address the media but police prevented them from doing so.

DECLARING PUNJAB ‘PRINCIPAL MARKET YARD’

The chief minister had assured representatives of farmer organisations on September 29 of the Bill to counter the Centre’s laws.

The SAD asked the state government to declare Punjab as “principal market yard” for agricultural produce so that the Centre’s laws do not apply in the state, terming it as the quickest and the most effective counter measure.

FACTORIES ORDINANCE TO BE TABLED

To improve investment and generate employment, the cabinet on Sunday gave its nod for converting the Factories (Punjab Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 into a Bill, to be tabled for enactment in the Vidhan Sabha to amend the Factories Act, 1948.

The Bill will facilitate faster settlement of cases and reduction in court action, besides changing the existing threshold limit for small units from 10 and 20 to 20 and 40, respectively. The change has been necessitated with the increase in manufacturing by small units in the state.

FARMERS TO MEET ON TUESDAY TO DISCUSS FUTURE COURSE

Meanwhile, farmers continued their protest against the farms laws across the state.

Devinder Singh, the Amritsar district president of the Kishan Sangharsh Committee, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had introduce the farm laws to benefit corporates but the farmers would not allow the laws to be implemented in Punjab.“The Prime Minister has brought such laws to benefit his friends Ambani and Adani, but the farmers of Punjab will not let anyone control their land and these laws will not be allowed to be implemented in Punjab. We have expressed our opposition against the laws and have burnt the effigies of Ambani, Adani and PM,” he said.

Farmers are meeting on October 20 to discuss the future strategy.

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