Punjab’s farmers marching to Delhi

#GS2 #POLITY #GOVERNANCE

  • Farmers in Punjab protesting against the three recently enacted farm laws will be reaching the National Capital on November 26 and 27 as part of their “Delhi Chalo” March call. 
  • The march call, initially given by The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) — a body of more than 200 farmers’ organisations across the country — has garnered support from nearly 500 farmers’ bodies. 
  • The three Bills passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha underscore that agriculture, agricultural markets, and land is the primary legislative domain of the state. 
  • Seeking to address one of the main grievances of the protesting farmers, the Bills, among other things, make minimum support price (MSP) a legal provision.
  • Farmers say they are happy with the state passing the three Bills, but point out that the proposed state legislations are at best a symbolic political statement against the Centre’s farm laws and may remain entangled in legal complications
  • The Bills can become law only if they get Presidential assent, which is highly unlikely.
  • The fight is not only for the farmers of Punjab but for the farmers of the entire country and that is why farmers are protesting “despite state passing its own Bills”.
  • Farmers feel that by enacting the three laws, the Centre has made a move to end the MSP system. 
  • While MSP was never a legal provision, but has remained a long practiced agricultural exercise in favour of farmers.
  • The Farmer’s Produce and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill 2020 ensure procurement at MSP only, but the Bill covers only two crops — wheat and paddy.
  • Punjab can manage on its own the 30 to 32 million tonnes of grains for some years but only by putting in place an efficient procurement system as there is a huge demand for wheat and paddy in Indian markets as well as in several countries. 
  • With this, Punjab also needs to shift to other crops gradually as per the demand of the domestic and international markets.
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