Maharashtra introduces 3 Bills to counter Centre’s farm laws

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on July 06, 2021

Bills set out changes to controversial laws

Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Government on Tuesday introduced three amendment Bills in State legislature in a move to counter the three new farm laws passed by the Union government.

“These Bills are placed on the floor of the House. These bills are now open for discussion. Farmers’ organizations have suggestions on the bills which will be taken into consideration” said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar while speaking to reporters.

The bill to amend Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Act, 2020 was presented by State’s Agriculture Minister Dadaji Bhuse. He said that a farming agreement shall not be valid unless the price paid to farmer is equal to or greater than the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

The bill proposes that the farmer and sponsor can make a farming agreement below MSP with mutual consent for a maximum period of two years. “For crops where MSP is not declared, they may enter in farming agreement with mutually agreed price,” the bill added.

Provision for punishment

The bill has made the provision for punishment of imprisonment of a minimum of three years for harassment to the farmer.

State’s Co-operation Minister Balasaheb Patil introduced the amendment to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020. The bill states that no trader shall trade in any scheduled farmers’ produce unless such trader has a valid license of competent authority. No license or permission is required for the marketing of agricultural produce such as fruits, vegetables, condiments and spices.

Also read: Farmers to protest in front of Parliament during Monsoon Session

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 amended by the Centre, there is no provision for the State to regulate or prohibit production, supply, distribution, imposing stock limits under extraordinary circumstances. He said the State wants to amend the Act to give that power to the State.

State Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said the Centre’s farm laws were passed without discussion and the State has the right to make laws and Maharashtra government wants to suggest amendments to the central agriculture laws.

Published on July 06, 2021

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