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Agri Bills to free farmers from middlemen’s clutches: Shah

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CDS will secure nation, fulfil new India''s aspirations: ShahNew Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) A day after the Lok Sabha passed two contentious agriculture-related Bills, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday called the proposed legislations a path-breaking move of the Modi government, saying these will free the farmers from the clutches of middlemen.

Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the passage of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 as well as the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, the Minister said the passage of the landmark agricultural reform Bills in the Lok Sabha on Thursday is an “unprecedented” step in this direction.

In a series of tweets, Shah said these Bills will help farmers overcome obstacles as well as provide them with new avenues to sell their produce, which will increase their incomes.

“These historic and important agricultural reforms of the Modi government will bring a positive transformation in the lives of farmers and make them self-reliant. I convey my heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on the passage of these Bills.”

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The Lok Sabha passed these Bills even though the opposition members as well as BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) termed them “anti-farmer” and some even staged a walkout.

The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide for the creation of an ecosystem wherein the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to the sale and purchase of farm produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter and intra-state trade.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 seeks to provide for 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 and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price system in a fair and transparent manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

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Thousands of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been staging protests even since the government on Monday introduced these Bills in the Lok Sabha on the opening day of the Monsoon Session.

These Bills seek to replace the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on June 5.

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the SAD resigned from the Modi government, hours ahead of the voting in the Lower House on the two Bills on Thursday.

–IANS

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