New Delhi, 24 November
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill to repeal three agriculture laws that triggered protests by thousands of farmers at Delhi borders, and will be tabled in Parliament during the upcoming winter session for passage. .
On 19 November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation announced the withdrawal of three agriculture laws, saying the government could not convince protesting farmers about the benefits of agricultural sector reforms. He had also urged them to end the dharna and return home.
The Cabinet has approved the Agriculture Laws Repealing Bill, 2021 to roll back three laws passed by Parliament in September last year, with an aim to bring reforms in the agriculture sector, especially in the marketing of agricultural produce.
The three laws to be repealed are: the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; Agreement of Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told reporters that the cabinet has completed the formalities to repeal three agriculture laws.
“It will be our priority to withdraw these three laws in the upcoming session of Parliament,” he said.
The winter session will start from November 29 and end on December 23.
The Agriculture Laws Repealing Bill, 2021 has been approved a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of three central agricultural laws. In addition, Parliament is about to pass 25 other bills including one on cryptocurrencies.
Repeal of three agricultural laws has been one of the major demands of about 40 farmer unions protesting against these reforms for almost a year now.
These laws, which have been suspended following a Supreme Court order in January this year, had led to widespread protests by thousands of farmers on the borders of Delhi, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.
The protests began in late November 2020, and are still ongoing.
On 21 November, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) – the joint body of farmer unions leading the current protests, called for immediate resumption of talks on six demands of farmers, including legal guarantees for the purchase of crops at minimum support prices. Wrote a letter to the minister. (MSP).
Other demands include the sacking and arrest of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, withdrawal of cases against farmers and construction of a memorial for those who lost their lives during the agitation.
He also demanded removal of penal provisions on farmers in the “Air Quality Management Commission Act 2021 in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas” and withdrawal of the draft “Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020/2021” proposed by the government.
The SKM had said it would continue its planned protests, including a march to Parliament on 29 November, to organize a protest against the one-year anti-agriculture law. – PTI