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Lok Sabha Passes Two Contentious Farm Bills Amid Protests

Lok Sabha passes two farm bills amid protests by Opposition; here is all you need to know about them

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The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two contentious Agriculture Bills. They are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The bills were passed through voice vote amid protest from the opposition and farmers.

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A bill related to the farm sector, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, was passed on Tuesday. The three bills will now be tabled in Rajya Sabha and become laws after the Upper House also passes them.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar moved the bill in the lower house on Thursday. He also assured the members that farmers will be able to get better prices for their produce and the Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system will continue. But the bills were opposed by oppositions on the grounds that they were anti-farmer. Minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned over the passage of these bills. Her resignation was accepted on Friday by the President. Narendra Singh Tomar is now given the charge of the food processing industries ministry.

Here is all you need to know about the contentious bills passed by the Lok Sabha:

1. As per the government, the reforms will accelerate agricultural growth through private sector investment in building agricultural infrastructure.

2. The bills aim at creating employment opportunities and strengthening the economy.

3. The bills will promote a barrier-free, inter-state, and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations.

4. Farmers are protesting as they feel that the bill will render the current MSP procurement system ineffective. This will leave them at the mercy of Big Farmers.

5. The Government says the Minimum Support Price (MSP)  and mandis established under state laws will continue to exist.

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