The union government of India has recently passed three farm laws with an aim to make farmer richer. These laws were – The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The central government made these laws to improve farmers’ conditions. But as soon as the laws were passed by the government, farmers across the nation and especially Punjab & Haryana started doing agitation against it. There are some serious concerns of farmers regarding laws as they consider it as anti-farmer. In the new law, farmers have got a new option that they will have the freedom to sell their produce outside the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) market and there will be no tax on such trade, which give a higher price to the farmers. The different State governments levy different taxes on these markets or mandis and the Government has totally controlled these APMC Markets or Mandis. In India, approximately 85 percent farmers come under marginal land holding category and they have less than 2 hectares of land. This is the main reason of farmers’ fear and protest as they think that a farmer having less produce cannot bargain with the corporate companies and there will be no purchase of crops outside APMC on minimum support price (MSP). The Mandis operating under the APMC law of the states will be abolished. Farmers are also of the opinion that they will be exposed to the risk of fraud due to the entry of people without license or registration outside APMC but on the other hand, the APMC Mandis are Government licensed mandis. In case of any dispute in the business with the corporate buyer, there will be a danger of farmers interests being ignored. But in the APMC mandis, farmers interests cannot be ignored.
In the last, I would like to say that agriculture sector provides more than 50 percent employment to the people and there are some serious concerns of farmers regarding to these newly passed laws and Government should sort out the concerns of farmers.
Patel Nagar Kathua.