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Lok Sabha clears bill to revise the Essential Commodities Act

By Bhumika Bansal

States in which farmers have been protesting against these bills include Punjab and Haryana. The government has already introduced law and bills seek permission for them. Lower house on Tuesday passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which takes permission to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onion, a step was taken at converting the farm sector and increasing farmers' income.

Engaging in the debate, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, a confederate of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), enounced regarding "qualm" and "uncertainty" among farmers on the bill along with two other proposed legislations associated with the farm sector.

The Centre should retain these legislations and perform to analyze the concerns of farmers, he said. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana, have been remonstrating against these bills. The government has heretofore ushered ordinances, and the bills seek consent for them.

Amar Singh (Congress) mentioned anti-farmers and anti-poor. Trinamool Congress' Saugata Roy and Kalyan Banerjee also objected to the bill and summoned the Centre for snatching the power of the states. "I don't get it, what was the hurry of beginning the ordinance," Roy said and asserted the legislation will profit high traders, whereas the farmers would be left in the lurch.

"It will provide big corporate admission into the space of farmers," the TMC leader quoted. D M Kathir Anand (DMK) also defied the bill, while Kaushalendra Kumar JD(U) supported it, stating the proposed legislation will profit farmers as they won't have to sell their agricultural produce at cheaper prices.

P.P Chaudhary (BJP) avowed the legislation will not only profit farmers but the buyers and evoked it as a visionary move and the biggest reform in the agriculture sector. Sanjeev Kumar Singari from YSRCP (Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party) hailed the bill, stating it as a benefit for farmers who require good prices for their agriculture outcome.

"Agriculture markets are over-modulated by musty laws. India has now become overabundant in most agriculture commodities but still, there is a minimum investment in cold storage facilities," Mahtab said. The government has to protect the interest of farmers, he noted. Mahtab also proposed that the government abolish export restrictions in the agriculture sector. Kunwar Danish Ali (BSP) referred to the bill as anti-farmers and said it will profit the middle man. He declared that the Modi government wants to own PSUs to profit from huge industrialists.

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