3 FARM LAWS
A huge protest was started especially in the states of Punjab & Haryana against the Farm Laws. The government stated that, these laws will provide more opportunities for the farmers to sell their product anywhere in the country (even outside Agricultural Produce Market Committee) and to anyone they want (even with MNCs). There is no need for any payment of any tax outside the APMCs. These laws were enacted after 2 decades of consultation and research on the farm laws. But the arguments of the farmers are that, no consultation was made by the government regarding the farm laws; these farm laws will not be beneficial to the farmers in anyway, as they can lead to the end of APMCs, farmers’ subsidies and the concept of Minimum Support Price. This will lead to the exploitation of the farmers in long run.
Though there are problems in APMCs such as, the place at which they are established, there may be 1 APM for 5 to 10 districts. In such situation, small farmers, sell their crops to the nearest traders. When we see the statistics, only 6% of the farmers are availing the benefit of MSPs.
Promotion & Facilitation Act, 2020: Farmers can sell their products outside the APMCs to whomever they want and at whatever the price they want and no tax will be levied on that.
Contract Farming Act, 2020: The risks in selling the products to the Private Companies will be borne by the Private Companies and the farmers will not be burdened with any risk.
Essential Commodities Act, 2020: Incentives for cold storage was provided.
The farmers argue that, they may seem beneficial prima facie, but in the long run, it will not be practical. If farmers are unable to sell their products in the other district, then it is not reasonable to assume that, they will sell their produce in the other states or to the private companies. Even if they sell their produce to the private companies, if there is no produce due to any unforeseen circumstances, then there is a possibility of losing their land to the private companies. Even if they don’t lose the land, the farmers don’t have enough power to do a legal battle with a huge company. Even, the farmers cannot approach the civil courts if they have any issue with the contract. So, the farmers are agitating against the farm laws and they have been repealed and were in force less than a year.
The protest against this farm laws started in Punjab & Haryana and later spread throughout the North India. Roads and many public places were occupied by the protesters. All the protesters went to Delhi shouting the slogan “Chalo Dilli”. Many attempts were made on social media to declare the protesting farmers as anti-nationalists. Though, both Hindus and Muslims together joined the protest peacefully, for protecting their rights, some of the politicians tried to raise the communal disputes, send the hooligans to make the protest violent and many attempts were made to stop them. Though they have started their protest after taking permission from the government in their states, later, the Delhi Government rejected the permission, stating that no protest can be done during Covid situation. But, the farmers didn’t stop and continued to protest. Though there is a right to protest guaranteed under Article 19 1(a) & (b) of the Constitution of India, that right has reasonable restrictions as stated in the Article 19 (2) & (3). Though, the protest is for a valid reason, you cannot protest wherever you want and whenever you want. Dissent and Democracy go hand in hand. So, farmers have the right to protest, but they should have done it at the right place as stated in the Shaheen Bagh Judgment.
3 Farm Laws by Velanati Jyothirmai @ Lex Cliq