SC ‘intends’ to stay farm laws

#GS2 #JUDICIARY #ACTs

  • The Supreme Court said it intended to stay the implementation of the controversial agricultural laws. The SC also proposed to form a committee to “amicably resolve” the standoff between the farmers and the Union government.
  • Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare filed an affidavit. The government said, the fact that the protests were confined to only one part of the country showed that the majority of the farming communities were happy with the laws.

 

Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020

  • The act’s objective is to create an environment where farmers and traders will have the freedom to trade outside registered 'mandis' under the states' APMCs. 
  • The act's provisions support barrier-free inter-state/ intra-state trade of farmers' produce.  
  • It will facilitate an electronic framework for trading.  
  • It will lessen marketing and transportation price and allow farmers in availing better prices.  

Why is the opposition protesting against the act? 

  • According to the opposition and some farm organizations under the provisions of the new act, the states will revenue as they will not be able to collect 'mandi fees' if farmers start selling their produce outside the registered mandis under states' APMCs markets.  
  • There are also concerns that the acts will adversely affect the influential commission agents in the states if the farmers move out of the mandis. The commission agents do not want their grip over farmers to weaken.  
  • There are also concerns that the act will end the Minimum Support Price (MSP)-based procurement regime.  
  • The opposition also raised concerns that electronic trading will lead to the end of e-NAM, which is an electronic trading platform that works with physical mandi structures.  
  • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020: Key provisions 
  • Under the act's provisions, the farmers will be able to enter into contracts with agri-business firms, processors, exporters, wholesalers or large retails for the sale of their future produce at a pre-decided price.  
  • Under the act's provisions, small and marginal farmers with land less than 5 hectares will stand to gain.  
  • The act will transfer the risk of market unpredictability to sponsors from farmers.  
  • It will enable farmers to gain access to modern technology. 
  • It will also help reduce the cost of marketing and boost farmers' income.  
  • The act eliminates the role of intermediaries and enable farmers to engage in direct marketing for full price realisation.  
  • It will also enable an effective dispute resolution mechanism with redressal timelines.  

 Why is there opposition to the act? 

  • The opposition has raised concerns over the act as they feel that the farmers in contract farming will become weaker players in their ability to negotiate their requirements. 
  • The act will give an upper hand to sponsors, who will have an edge in disputes being big exporters, wholesalers and processors.   

 

Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2019

  • The act's provisions aim to remove commodities like pulses, oilseeds, onion, potatoes and cereals from the list of essential commodities.  
  • The act will also do away with the imposition of stock holding limits on such items except during ' extraordinary circumstances' like war.  
  • The act aims to attract foreign direct investment into the farm sector.  
  • It aims to attract investment for farm structures like moderning food and supply chain and cold storage. 
  • The act aims to help both farmers and consumers and bring price stability.  
  • Further, the act aims to pave way for a competitive market environment and cut wastage of farm produce. 

Why is there opposition to the act? 

  • There are concerns that price limits set for extraordinary circumstances are so high that they might never be invoked.  
  • The act will enable large companies to stock up commodities. They will be able to dictate terms to the farmers, which may lead to less prices for the cultivators.  
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