In 2017, the central government had released model farming acts. The Standing Committee on Agriculture (2018-19), however, noted that a number of reforms suggested in the model acts had not been implemented by the states. In particular, the Committee found that the laws that regulated Indian agricultural markets (such as those related to Agriculture produce market committees or AMCs) were not being implemented fairly and honestly or serving their purpose. Centralization was thought to be reducing competition and (accordingly) participation, with undue commissions, market fees, and monopoly of associations damaging the agricultural sector.
A committee consisting of seven Chief Minister was set up in July 2019 to discuss implementation. Accordingly, the centre promulgated three ordinances in the first week of June 2020.
Indian Farm Reforms of 2020
The Indian Farm Reforms of 2020 refer to three agricultural bills passed by the Parliament of India on 27 September 2020. The bills collectively seek to provide farmers with multiple marketing channels and provide a legal framework for farmers to enter into pre-arranged contracts among other things. The three laws are the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, which came into effect following the approval of President Ram Nath Kovind.
Protest against the acts picked up in September 2020, particularly in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, where farmers have been at the forefront.
10 Major Developments Points
- As the farmers protesting at the border of New Delhi have planned to intensify the agitation, 10 farm unions from different states associated with the All India Kisan Coordination Committee on Saturday extended their support to the government over the farm bills after meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
- Citing a confident consensus between the protesting farmers and the government, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the protest would end very soon.
- Amid a protest by farmers against the Centre's three new farm laws, BJP general secretary Arun Singh on Monday claimed that more than 99 per cent of farmers in the country are with the Modi government. The BJP leader alleged the Congress party for fuelling the ongoing agitation.
- As part of the farmers' plan to intensify their agitation, 33 farm union leaders who have attended government negotiations, are fasting at the Singhu border. The hunger strike, which began at 8 AM and will continue till 5 PM.
- Standing in solidarity with the farmers, Arvind Kejriwal Chief Minister of Delhi is also fasting. "Fasting is pure. Wherever you are, please fast for our farmer brothers. Pray to god that they succeed as they struggle. In the end, they'll win for sure," Kejriwal said in a tweet.
- Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) after he met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for opening of a highway from Noida to Delhi, sparked discord among members of the other Unions. The UP unit chief of the BKU (Bhanu) Yogesh Pratap, disagreed with the decision.
- Just a few hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that the reforms will help draw investment in agriculture and benefit farmers, the farmers called for the intensification of the protest.
- As the farmer protest is gaining momentum, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to organize series of measures including press conferences, 'chaupals' and Jan Sampark, in all the districts of the country on the issue of the new farm laws.
- The Bharatiya Kisan Union then filed a petition in the Supreme Court that sought to repeal of the laws. The top court has already issued notices to the center on a batch of petitions challenging the laws.
- The farmers have been protesting against the contentious farm laws since November 25,2020 have braved water cannons, tear gas, and police barricades. More than 11 people have lost their lives since the agitation has started.