President Ram Nath Kovind Signed Three Farm Bills Amid Protests

On Sunday, President Ram Nath Kovind signed three farm bills that were passed in the last week in Parliament despite protests in many parts of the country.

On September 20, two bills were passed in the parliament by the President, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill. Earlier the Lok Sabha had already passed Essential Commodities (Amendment), Bill.

The two bills were passed amid protests held by opposition parties. Sukhbir Singh Badal who is the chief of Shiromani Akali Dal called these bills as anti-farmers. Harsimaarat Kaur Badal who is the lone member of the SAD resigned from his position accusing the government not taking farmers on board.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described these bills as historic and said that these bills will help farmers and the farm sector to get rid of middlemen and other bottlenecks. The government says that farmers will be able to get a better market for their product and price.

Speaking after the Zero Hour on Tuesday, Azad also demanded that the government brings a bill which should ensure private players don’t procure food grains below the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the government. He also asked the government that the MSP should be fixed from time to time as per the C2 Swaminathan formula.

On Monday, 8 opposition members of Rajya Sabha were suspended for their unruly behaviour during the passing of the Farm Bills on Sunday.

The opposition said the members should have been given a chance to explain and demanded a vote on their suspension, but the Rajya Sabha said the decision was based on a government motion.

Farmers and traders have also vehemently opposed the new bills, alleging the government wants to discontinue the minimum support price regime in the name of reforms. They fear that the bills will leave them at the mercy of corporate powers.

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