New Delhi: Three bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha, to enable barrier-free trade in agricultural produce and empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice. These legislations were introduced seeking transformation of agriculture in the country and raising of farmers’ income, and replace ordinances promulgated on June 5, 2020.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
This bill was introduced by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar. This bill will provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter-State and intra-State trade and commerce of farmers’ produce outside physical premises of markets or deemed markets notified under various State agricultural produce market legislations. It will open more choices for the farmer, reduce marketing costs for the farmers and help them in getting better prices. It will also help farmers of regions with surplus produce to get better prices and consumers of regions with shortages, lower prices.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
This Bill was introduced by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar. The Bill will provide 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. This legislation will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs. It will reduce cost of marketing and improve income of farmers.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Raosaheb Patil Danve, introduced this bill. This Bill seeks to remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations and provide farmers the freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will lead to harnessing of economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment into agriculture sector. The legislation will help drive up investment in cold storages and modernisation of food supply chain and help both farmers and consumers while bringing in price stability. It will also create a competitive market environment and also prevent wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities.
-India Legal Bureau