Farm Laws Repeal Bill approved by the Cabinet
The Union Cabinet has approved a bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws. The new bill will now be introduced in the Lok Sabha for passage in the upcoming Winter session of Parliament beginning November 29. On November 19, Modi in his address to the nation had announced the withdrawal of the three farm laws. Once the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021, is passed, the three farm laws that have been in the eye of the storm will get repealed.
The Union Cabinet has approved a bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws. The new bill will now be introduced in the Lok Sabha for passage in the upcoming Winter session of Parliament beginning November 29. On November 19, Modi in his address to the nation had announced the withdrawal of the three farm laws.
Once the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021, is passed, the three farm laws that have been in the eye of the storm will get repealed.
"Today, the Union Cabinet led by PM completed formalities to repeal the three farm laws. During the upcoming session of the Parliament, it will be our priority to take back these three laws," said Union Minister Anurag Thakur.
The three farm laws had been brought through ordinances on June 5, 2020. The laws were called Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The first two of these were new laws while the last was a liberalized version of an earlier law. The passage of the Repeal Bill will put an end to the two new laws and restore the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) to its earlier version.
Protests started against the three laws just days after they were promulgated. They went on intensifying and took the shape of a major farmers’ movement in only a few months. After their protests at a local level in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and other states, the farmers marched to Delhi on November 26, 2020. When they were stopped from entering the capital city, they camped on the borders of Delhi — a movement that continues to this day and is just a couple of days short of its first anniversary.
There were 11 negotiations held between the government and the representatives of the united front of the farmer organizations from the time the farmers came on the Delhi borders until January 22. But these broke down. In January, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of these laws. It also constituted a four-member committee that had to submit its report within two months. One of its members, Bhupinder Singh Mann, resigned while the other three members — economist Ashok Gulati, agricultural expert Dr PK Joshi and Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat — submitted their report to the Supreme Court in March. The report is yet to be made public.
Meanwhile, the ongoing farmers’ movement continued at its pace and even intensified. On the occasion of Gurpurab on November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a startling announcement that the three laws would be repealed. Besides, he also announced that a committee would be formed to look into Minimum Support Price (MSP), an important demand made by the farmer organizations.
However, in response to the Prime Minister’s appeal to the farmers to go back to their homes, the farmer organizations made it known that they would wait for the completion of the repealing process of these laws in Parliament. Besides, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) issued a statement that their main demand was a legal guarantee for MSP and they demanded that the Parliament bring about a law to this effect. Also, the SKM has written an open letter with six-point demand to the Prime Minister and asked for talks to be started on these demands. The farmer organizations are now busy with the strategy to assemble in large numbers on 26 November on the first anniversary of the farmers’ movement at Delhi borders.