India is a democratic country where everything is done on a mutual understanding between the government and with the people indirectly. And to run such a vast country there have to be certain rules and regulations. The rules and regulations are mentioned in the constitution and when there is a need to add a new rule; it has to pass through all the parliament houses where it’s in form of a bill.
What is a bill?
A bill is introduced legislation under debate by a legislature. A bill will not become law till it is enacted by the parliament and, on most occasions, signed by the president. When a bill has been signed into law, it is considered an act of the parliament, or legislation. Bills are brought into the legislature, where they are debated, analyzed, and agreed on.
What is a farmer’s bill?
For the farmers of India, the government passed three bills together collectively called the farmers’ bill. The three bills are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act of 2020, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act of 2020. These were introduced in the monsoon session of the parliament on 23rd September 2020.
The controversial bills, which finally came into the act after the signature of the president on 27th September 2020, sparked outrage among opposition major parties and farmer groups. Despite the fierce opposition, some people gave their full consent to the bills, with some claiming that they would “emancipate” the agricultural workforce. Now to break all the confusions or the curiosity of people here is a brief description of the three bills:
- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020:
This act permits farmers to exchange their farm goods even outside the spot shops established under the laws of different state Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC acts). The ‘APMC Bypass Bill,’ the name of the bill, would circumvent all state government APMC actions.
- Encourages farmers’ products to be traded freely within and between states.
- Proposes the development of an automated trading network for direct and online product trading. Companies, partnership agencies, and associations are examples of organizations that may create such networks.
- Allows farmers to sell anywhere outside of state-notified APMC facilities, including farm gates, factories, cold storages, and other locations.
- Fees, deduction, or any other payment on farmers’ produce is prohibited by individual states or APMCs.
- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act of 2020:
The legislation aims to provide a platform for farmers to participate in contract farming, in which farmers step into a direct deal with a buyer (before sowing season) to offer their product to them at the prices decided at the time of the deal.
- Individuals, corporations, partnership firms, public benefit groups, and societies are all examples of funders who can enter into agreements with peasants to purchase agricultural goods.
- The act allows farmers and sponsors to enter into farming agreements. All partners involved in that process (such as aggregator sites) must be listed expressly in the contract. State governments may establish monitoring authorities to do something for an electronic database of farming agreements.
- The conciliation board, which consists of members from the parties to the contract, the sub-divisional judge, and the authoritative statement are all included in the three-tiered dispute resolution system.
- Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act of 2020:
This act, which amends the Essential Commodities Act of 1955, aims to limit the government’s control over the output, supply, and sale of certain primary products.
- Cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion, and potatoes are no longer considered essential commodities under the act.
- Under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955, the authority can only enforce stock holding limitations and control prices for all the above products in exceptional circumstances. Military action, drought, drastic price increases, and severe natural disasters are among them.
- Farming produce stock limits would be dependent on market price increases. They will only be levied if the retail value of agricultural products rises by 100 percent and if the retail cost of non-perishable agricultural foodstuffs rises by 50 percent.
- The act seeks to alleviate private investors’ concerns about government interference in their business operations.
- Allows for the production, storage, movement, distribution, and supply of goods, allowing for private industry direct investment in farm inputs.
Despite the total clarity, there is a lot of chaos going around the country as the data is breached into pieces and spread out in public with half explanation. So before assuming anything, people should go through all the details provided by the government; the pros and cons, and then be it in favor or against this bill.