Rajasthan introduces 4 bills to counter farm laws
Similar bills have been introduced in Punjab and Chhattisgarh assemblies following widespread protests by various farm bodies against the central laws pushed through in Parliament during the monsoon session.Updated: Nov 01, 2020, 01:00 IST
The Rajasthan government on Saturday introduced four bills to counter the farm laws recently enacted by the Central government.
Parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal tabled the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020 and the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020 during the special session of the Rajasthan Assembly.
According to the statement of objects, the bills seek to “protect the interest of farmers, farm labourers, those engaged in ancillary and incidental activities relating to production, sale and marketing of agricultural produce as also consumers and for adherence to the minimum support price mechanism”.
Addressing reporters outside the assembly, state health minister Raghu Sharma said that the state government wanted to protect the interest of farmers with the new laws.
Similar bills have been introduced in Punjab and Chhattisgarh assemblies following widespread protests by various farm bodies against the central laws pushed through in Parliament during the monsoon session.
The Chhattisgarh assembly on October 27 approved the Chhattisgarh Krishi Upaj Mandi (Amendment) Bill 2020 that declared the entire state as a market for selling agriculture produce. Earlier on October 20, Punjab government passed four bills and a resolution to counter Centre’s three agriculture marketing laws. Both states have Congress governments.
The Congress leadership had earlier suggested that states where it is in power should pass laws of their own to counter the central legislations.
Hitting out at the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Satish Poonia said, “The fact is, the state government cannot bring law against a central law by calling a special session but Ashok Gehlot is conspiring to mislead farmers and to please Sonia Gandhi.”
BJP MLA Pratap Singh Singhvi said the government is lying about its intention of ensuring minimum support price. “Farmers of bajra (pearl millet) are forced to sell their produce at ₹1400-1500 per quintal against the MSP of ₹2150 because the state government did not send a proposal to Centre for procurement under Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA),” said the six-time legislator.
Experts said that amendments to Central laws by a state assembly were not possible. Political commentator Avadhesh Akodia said, “Even if the Rajasthan assembly passes these amendment bills, they are unlikely to get the President’s assent.” The speaker adjourned the House until Monday.