India: Govt introduces three farm sector bills in Lok Sabha

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The central government introduced three bills in the lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament (Lok Sabha) on farm sector with the country’s agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar stating that the proposed laws will help farmers get remunerative prices for their produce.

The government introduced the following bills to replace ordinances promulgated earlier:

• The Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill

• The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill

• The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill

The minister said the proposed legislations will not only facilitate barrier-free trade in agricultural produce, but also empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice.

“I want to assure on behalf of the government that MSP (minimum support price) was there, is there, and will continue to be there,” the minister asserted.

However, the opposition parties have opposed the bills, alleging they will undermine the safety net provided to the farmers by the MSP (minimum support price) system.