Skip to main content

President refused to see violation of procedures, will fight out: Land rights NGO

Counterview Desk

India’s top land rights network, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (BAA), even as taking strong exception to President Ramnath Kovind giving his accent to the three bills passed in Parliament, has regretted that he didn’t care to pay need to the “irregularities” brought to notice by members of Parliament as also the manner in which the deputy chairman conducting the business in the Rajya Sabha allowed the bills to be passed without voting.
Stating that Parliament has been turned into a “rubber stamp”, BAA in a statement said, it would continue challenging implementation of the three Acts on the ground “and will also explore legal ways to challenge this since it impinges upon the federal character and takes away the right of the state legislatures to make laws.”

Text:

Despite the nationwide protests on September 25th, President Ramnath Kovind gave assent to the three farm bills on Sunday 27-September 2020, recently passed by the parliament. The three bills were the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The President didn’t pay any heed to the irregularities brought by the members of parliament and the partisan manner in which the Deputy chairman conducted the business in Rajya Sabha. President should have used his powers to ask the government to reconsider but he chose to stand with the government.
We are deeply disappointed and outraged at this murder of democracy and violation of every possible procedure and conversion of parliament into a rubber stamp. After the dubious proceeding of passing the bills by voice vote, it should have been discussed, debated, and sent to the parliamentary committee for further analysis and adding necessary amendments, affirming the security and benefit of the farmers.

Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation), Act

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, promotes private markets for the trading of agricultural produce. The Central government is calling it favourable for farmers as they will now be able to sell their produce wherever they want, but the question is how many farmers sell their products in distant markets and have enough resources to do so?
More than 80% of the farmers do not have landholdings of more than two hectares and the Act does not have any clause for regulating the prices outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), commonly known as ‘Anaj Mandi’ or ‘Krishi Mandi’. There are close to 7,000 APMCs in the country with their own ecosystem of trading and employment.
This Act allows middlemen or traders or private companies to bypass the APMCs and buy it directly from farmers or other trading centres. The APMCs will not shut immediately but eventually, they will, as most of the trade will be happening outside of these.
The APMCs are also those marketplaces where farmers can sell their crops on Minimum Support Price, so it's a direct threat to the MSP as well. This Act will certainly benefit the private companies and traders as now they will not need any license for buying, they will not have to pay the taxes to the states for buying and it will also provide them with the potential of regulating the prices of the agricultural goods.

Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act will clear the way for contract farming, and now private companies will be able to make direct contacts with the farmers. 
Agricultural Produce Market Committees will not shut immediately but eventually they will, as most of trade will be happening outside of these
Again, there are no price regulations for directly buying from farmers. This might benefit the farmers in the beginning but with time, companies will be setting up the rates as per their will and can also influence the farmers for growing particular crops, posing a serious threat for the indigenous crops.

Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

The third Act, Essential Commodities (Amendment), Act 2020, removes the cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oil, onion, and potato from the list of essential commodities. This Act will also promote hoarding of goods as it says that stock limits can only be imposed if the retail price of non-perishable goods (cereals, pulses, oil-seeds, etc) increases above the average by 50% and the retail price of perishable goods (fruits, vegetables, etc.) increase above the average by 100%.
The Act is set to become a foundation for the private companies for regulating the prices as per their whims & fancies. The amendment will de-regularise the production, storage, movement, and distribution for these food commodities, also posing a serious threat to the food security of Indian citizens. 
***
The farmers have already begun protesting nationwide, right after these were passed from the parliament. Bhumi Adhikar Andolan vows to continue challenging the Acts and its implementation on the ground and will also explore legal ways to challenge this since it impinges upon the federal character and takes away the right of the State legislatures to make the laws.

Comments

Unknown said…
Will #AntiNational #ChiefJusticeOfIndia Mr #SABobde Dance to Govt of India Tunes? I am Babubhai Vaghela from Ahmedabad on Whatsapp Number 9409475783. Thanks.

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen