Rajya Sabha passes two farm bills amidst ruckus

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Amid uproar by opposition members, the Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two contentious farm bills, which have triggered protests by farmers at several places.

The two bills —  Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 — were passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The House also rejected the demand of several opposition parties to send the two bills to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee for greater scrutiny.

Union minister of agriculture and farmer welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved the two crucial farm bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

“The two bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. The farmers will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country. I want to assure the farmers that these bills are not related to Minimum Support Price (MSP),” Tomar said in the Rajya Sabha today.

These bills will now be sent to the President of India for assent.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide freedom to farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

The second bill, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, provides for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services.

As per reports, farmers in Punjab and Haryana are protesting against the contentious bill.

Earlier, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the food processing minister from the Shiromani Akali Dal party, resigned from the government last week as a protest against this Farm Bill.

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