The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
It replaces the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020, and Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, respectively.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led by president Sukhbir Singh Badal opposed the bill. Also, the Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in a protest against the farmers’ ordinance bills.
The bill allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of (Agricultural produce market committee) APMC markets.
It creates a framework for contract farming through an agreement between farmers and buyers prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce.
One of the three bills aims to increase the availability of buyers for farmers’ produce, by permitting them to trade freely without any license or stock limit.
It provides a farming agreement between a farmer and a buyer prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. The minimum period of an agreement will be one crop season or one production cycle of livestock. The maximum period is 5 years unless the production cycle is more than 5 years.
Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 prohibits state governments from levying any market fee, cess, or levy on farmers, traders, and electronic trading platforms for the trade of farmers’ produce conducted in an ‘outside trade area’.