There are three new laws which have been passed recently which came under certain controversies. So, as a cognizant citizen, it is important for us to understand them and then form an opinion about it without any manipulation.
Following are the three laws that have been passed under Agriculture Reform Bill 2020 -
1. Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020
It is related to the marketing issue, as per the new law Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) are now will lose its monopoly of business and geography. Before it was not allowed for farmers to sell their products other than the APMC of his area, he even cannot think of the APMC of another area, this was leading to the monopoly of these APMC (Sarkari Mandis) of that area. Now by this law, the farmer will be able to sell his produce to any APMC or even any market he wants. This will not abolish the MSP (Minimum Support Price) but it abolishes the monopoly of the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
2. The Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance
This allows farmers to sell their products directly to private companies. Before, they have to forcefully sell it to the mandis where middlemen exploit these farmers. This law will help them to free from restrictions and allow them to participate in contract selling. Most of the advanced countries already have these laws.
3. The Amendment to Essential Commodities Act (ECA), 1955
This law was highly inspired by the Britisher's system which they developed during World War II to control how much of which commodity could be kept to store and sold by grocers in India. It was one of the bad laws that had been inherited by the Indian Constitution. It was a harsh law. It is not a law, it is an amendment that has been made by the central government hence, it is the least controversial among them. It reduces the power in the state and center head to enforce stock limit and price limit on any commodity, except in case of emergency, wartime, and if price rise goes to 100% (vegetables) or 50% (cereals). It is a very good step.
Farmers are afraid by thinking that allowing private buyers will lead to losing prominent presence of 'Sarkari Mandis' as private players will offer very high prices first and then they will dominate the market. Also, the non-presence of MSP (Minimum Support Price) in the bill is making them worry.