In the light of the three ordinances promulgated by the central government under the “Aatma nirbhar “ Abhiyan package, farmers from Haryana have not taken to these advancements lightly. They have alleged that these ordinances promote the dismissal of the minimum support price.
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The protests have been running since July and following that on 10th September in a similar protest in Pipli, things took a grave turn when farmers were ‘lathi-charged’ by policemen.
Farmers from Bharatiya Kisan Union claim police used the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse, to stop the rally.
Farmer’s Point Of View
The three ordinances which they believe are “anti farmers”, are as follows –
the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020, and an amendment in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
Farmers claim the government is trying to ward off the MSP regime under the garb of these ordinances, although no empirical data supports that claim, the government claims these ordinances will help advance towards a more flexible and freer movement with both the farmers and the sponsors involved.
The Essential Commodities Act,1955 prevented sponsors or businessmen from hoarding. The central government after many discussions has removed these restrictions from many items under this act.
This led the farmers to believe that big businesses will exploit small farmers to sell their produce on a lower price and gain profit by selling them at a higher price.
Farmer’s are also wary of the ordinance which involves contract farming. The ordinance promotes farmers to come directly into a contract with a company and are not liable to pay any tax under the previous APMC law.
Although farmers still oppose this, as their primary concern is a fixed MSP to be given by the government.
Farmers argue that if the government doesn’t set an MSP or does not have any hold over the hoarding of their produce small or medium farmers wouldn’t be able to defend themselves over any dispute between them and any large corporate firm.
In brief, the farmers want to discontinue all of these 3 ordinances and have another ordinance made where the government increases the MSP to be 50% more, and not paying it should become a punishable offense.
How Is The Government Tackling This?
Haryana BJP leader Omprakash Dhankad has made a committee that regulates the farmer’s burden and grievances although the question still arises that why hasn’t the government made a committee for the same and why the party alone is handling this?
The leader was in full support of farmers and debunked any myths of fleeting MSP rates. Although he condemned the use of force with the farmers he also wasn’t very supportive of protesting and public gathering in this pandemic.
Will the farmers have their voices heard by the government? Has this system again foreshadowed its hypocritical stance by just glorifying a farmer in speeches and posters and yet beat him up when they raise their voices? Are these three ordinances really that beneficial or require more work while considering what the farmers want as well.
The farmers have been left shattered and are in an insecure state, the government should take swift action and address their concerns.