Minimum Support Price will continue, Mandis will not stop functioning: Union Minister of Agriculture
New Delhi: The Parliament today passed two bills aimed at transforming agriculture in the country. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 which were passed by Lok Sabha on 17th September 2020, were passed by the Rajya Sabha also today.
The Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha on 14th September 2020 by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Narendra Singh Tomar, to replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June 2020.
Speaking about the Bills, Narendra Singh Tomar again clarified that the procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue. The Union Agriculture Minister said that full protection has been ensured to farmers in these legislations. He further clarified that the Mandis will not stop functioning, trading will continue here as before. However, under the new system, farmers will have the option to sell their produce at other places in addition to the mandis. PM Modi had also turned to a social media and clarified
The new bill is also providing electronic trading which will ensure greater transparency and will also rave time of the farmers.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
Main provisions –
- The new legislation will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce.
- It will also promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations.
- The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce and will not have to bear transport costs.
- The Bill also proposes an electronic trading in transaction platform for ensuring a seamless trade electronically.
- In addition to mandis, freedom to do trading at farmgate, cold storage, warehouse, processing units etc.
- Farmers will be able to engage in direct marketing thereby eliminating intermediaries resulting in full realization of price.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
Main provisions –
- The new legislation will empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters etc., on a level playing field. Price assurance to farmers even before sowing of crops. In case of higher market price, farmers will be entitled to this price over and above the minimum price.
- It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor. Due to prior price determination, farmers will be shielded from the rise and fall of market prices.
- It will also enable the farmer to access modern technology, better seed and other inputs.
- It will reduce cost of marketing and improve income of farmers.
- Effective dispute resolution mechanism has been provided for with clear time lines for redressal.
- Impetus to research and new technology in agriculture sector.
Nullifying the opposition doubts over the bill, Union Agriculture Minister clarified that the farmer will have full power in the contract to fix a sale price of his choice for the produce. And farmer will receive payment within maximum 3 days.