A day after Punjab Assembly passed four bills to bypass the three central farm laws, the Congress government in Rajasthan said that it will follow the suit by bringing a bill on the lines of Amarinder Singh government. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that Congress will continue to oppose the three farm laws and termed them as anti-farmer. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting, presided over by CM Gehlot, on Tuesday morning.
"INC under the leadership of Smt Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji stands absolutely with our annadatas and will continue to oppose the anti-farmer laws passed by NDA Govt. Congress Govt in Punjab has passed Bills against these laws and Rajasthan will follow soon,” Gehlot tweeted separately last night.
The Punjab Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed four bills and adopted a resolution against the farm laws enacted by the Parliament last month.
The opposition parties have been arguing that the Modi government's three bills -- The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are aimed at handing over the farming sector to corporates and that farmers will not get benefit of the MSP.
But the government maintains that the bills give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). This is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels. Farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce under the act. Besides, farmers will get the right to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price. It seeks to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from farmers to sponsors.
Earlier, the Congress leadership had suggested states where the party is in power to pass laws of their own, negating the central legislation.
On Tuesday, soon after the Punjab Assembly cleared the bills, state Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said other non-BJP ruled states are likely to follow suit as CMs and Finance ministers of states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana have been in touch with him for getting a copy of the Punjab bills to replicate them in their respective state assemblies.
The bills are likely to be referred to the President since they go against the central laws. As per the Constitution, the bills require the Presidential assent.