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

'Blatant violation' of law by Central government in making NREGA payments

By Our Representative  In September third week, NREGA workers across the country were mobilised for two day so raise their issues and submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister. Organised the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM), a collective of groups that work with NREGA labourers across the country, workers from 13 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- carried out Kaam Do Abhiyaan, staging demonstrations and rallies against what they called blatant violation of law by the Central government in making NREGA payments. While NREGA has had very positive impacts, it has lately become fruitless, exploiting labour, even though workers who have put in honest hard work have to wait for their wages endlessly, it was suggested.  In such a situation, there is a need to firm up NREGA implementation and end systematic corruption to ensure that workers get their basic NREGA entit

Fascism on prowl? Religious meet 'deeply pained' at silence of Church, bishops, priests

Counterview Desk  The ‘Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace’which held its 17th National Convention at the Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana from 22 to 24 September 2022 on the theme “Deepening our Identity as Religious: Responding to the Signs of the Times”, has expressed concern “at the deteriorating situation of our nation on every front”, especially stating, “Fascism seems to have come to stay” in India. At the same time, the convention, which took place with the participation of 60 persons from 16 states representing 20 religious congregations, in its unanimously-adopted statement added, “We have reached abysmal depths on every parameter: be it social, economic and political”, underlining, “The poor in India become poorer every day; the rich and powerful continue to profiteer at their expense and amass scandalous amounts of wealth.” Text: We, members (63 women and men Religious, from 16 states representing 20 Congregations) of the Forum of Religious for Justice

Rajasthan cops 'halt' Gujarat Dalit women's rally: homage to untouchability victim boy

By Our Representative  In a surprise move, the Rajasthan police stopped a Dalit women's rally from Gujarat on the borders after it crossed Gujarat alleging that it would "disturb peace" in village Surana, Jalore district, where the gruesome incident of death of a Dalit boy took place on August 13 after he was brutally beaten up by his teacher on touching the drinking water pot. Sources said, while the Gujarat government had "no objection" in allowing the rally, which originated from the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), an empowerment-cut-technical institute for teens founded by human rights leader Martin Macwan, on September 24 morning, the Rajasthan police stopped it for two and a half hours before allowing it to proceed to Surana. The decision to take out a women's rally was taken at a DSK meeting on September 5 following a condolence meeting of the NGO Navsarjan Trust, also founded by Macwan, activists committed to work against caste-based discrimination, orga

Introducing non-native cheetahs is 'not equivalent' to restoring pride in the nation

By Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay*  The Cheetahs from the African continent has finally been introduced to India by the Indian Prime Minister on his 72nd birthday. The process had started with the previous Government in 2009. However, the Supreme Court clearance was pending owing to the objection by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) plea to reintroduce cheetahs. Finally the clearance was obtained in January 2020 and thereafter Kuno National Park (KNP) was chosen for the reintroduction of first set of Southeast African Cheetahs. In the near future, depending upon the success story of the current reintroduction, more cheetahs from South Africa may also be introduced. This exercise has generated a lot of interest among various stakeholders with opinions on both sides galore. It is important to pose some questions that surround the whole exercise. Let us evaluate some of these arguments. The first set of arguments are quite detached from the issues of conservation as they most

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".

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer

Why Bose's India Gate statue suggests RSS, BJP need violence-loving ‘Hindu’ Netaji

By Prem Singh*  In a TV channel debate, a BJP spokesperson and anchor shared and served a lie that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's daughter in her letter to the Prime Minister has alleged that the Congress kept devaluing Netaji to further Gandhi's non-violence; because Netaji had taken the path of liberating the country through violence mode by forming the Azad Hind Fauj (INA). They also praised the Bombay Royal Naval Mutiny of 1946 to confirm that the country got its independence through a violent route. I stated that I have read the letter of Netaji's daughter, and there is no such allegation in it. But a lie told in the intoxication of power is bound to be blatant. Netaji's daughter Anita Bose Pfaff, even in the past, has already requested some earlier prime ministers of the country to bring back the mortal remains of her father from Japan to India. In none of the letters she has spoken about devaluation of her father’s role in the freedom movement on the basis of Gandh

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Is coal import dependence of more than 50% by 2047 of any relevance to India?

By Shankar Sharma*  I have read the article " Building Resilience in India’s Power Sector " by N Vedachalam, released by the Observer Research Foundation, with a lot of interest. I expected it to provide few useful recommendations to our authorities in charting out a sustainable pathway to green energy transition much before the climate catastrophe push our communities to the precipice. But I am sorry to say that the overall discussions or the message implied in the article disappointed me. I was expecting the article, coming from an engineer with past experience in the power sector, to discuss the much needed recommendations to put the power sector on a sustainable developmental pathway. But I could notice mostly technical jargon and a lot of statistical information, which may already be available in the public domain.   The article also seems to have simply accepted what some of the official agencies seem to have indicated as inevitable for the power sector in our country;

Government 'fails to take up' Indian migrants' unpaid wages issue with other countries

By Rafeek Ravuther, Chandan Kumar, Dharmendra Kumar*  The migrant workers were one of the most vulnerable sections during the pandemic. India experiences large-scale movement of migrants internally and internationally. After the outbreak of the pandemic, migrant workers continued to face injustice especially in getting wages in expedited manner. In the international context, India, the home of 9 million cross-border temporary labour migrants, carried out the largest repatriation exercise ‘Vande Bharat Mission’. Even though the Indian government addressed the immediate requirement of repatriation, it failed to understand and recognise their post-arrival grievances, like back wages, social protection etc. Recently many workers were deported from the middle- east region. Amidst the establishment of grievance mechanisms such as Consular Services Management System (MADAD) and helplines in Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK), the unresolved grievances remain high. The number of unresolv