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

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.