Updated: Nov 23, 2021
Today’s most controversial bills were passed by parliament and enacted after they got assent from our respected President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind on 27th September 2020. These acts are - the Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Act 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. These Acts are considered by central government as a watershed movement in our Indian Agriculture’s history but in contrary those who are benefitted from these acts that are the farmers of our country are not ready to accept and follow these bills. What are the reasons?
Here, Effects of Farm Bills on mandi system can be considered as one of the most important reason that farmers are in fright. There are two perspectives- one in favor of laws that is positive impact on farmers and second in against of laws that is negative impact on farmer . Firstly the bill which arises this issue is -The Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill 2020 also now is being called as “the APMC Bypass Bill 2020” which allows the farmer to trade their crops or their agricultural output outside the markets which were regulated by Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee laws (APMC acts). The markets here this law is talking about are generally referred as “MANDIS”. This means that farmers are free to sell their crops outside these APMC regulated mandis that is they can sell outside or inside the state or online ,anywhere where they are receiving good price for their agricultural output .What are the ideas which have arisen from enactment of these laws and became a root reason of farmer’s movement and what is the idea because of which government is not accepting the demands of farmers.
First perspective (positive impact on farmers)- The union Government has claimed that the farmers are misleaded, APMC regulated mandis are not going to disappear, they will continue to exist. This law will give a platform where farmers have freedom to choose the marketplaces. It says that it is for the benefit of Farmers as they will have several options in choosing where they want to sell. This will destroy the monopoly practiced by APMC act and the farmers will able to set the prices of their crops according to their own will. This freedom of choice of farmers in marketplaces will lead to increase in the competition between traders and they will provide farmers a much higher price than MSP. Also this prohibits state government to impose any tax on the trade conducted by farmers outside the state. In case of any dispute, the farmers need not go the courts again and again. There dispute will be redressed through redressal mechanism mentioned in law. The union government claimed these laws as for the welfare of farmers. After so many benefits that the farmers are going to receive than what makes farmers to come on street and protest against these laws? Well, the benefits government is taking about looks good in the paper but huge difference arise from when they are implemented. For those these bills are enacted are showing their issues against these laws that they have the right to be heard and right to get their problems solved.
Second Perspective (negative impact on farmers)- One of the slogans which is famous in this farmer’s movement “KISAN BACHAO MANDI BACHAO”. The farmers fear that these laws will abolish these APMC regulated mandis which is the only place they sell their crops on MSP and outside these mandis MSP is not given their crops are sold at much less amount than MSP.Another problem is the traders in these APMC regulated mandis are licensed , they pay a fee and are monitored. According to this new law, farmers are free to choose than traders are also free to choose, why they will go to buy in the markets where they have to give fee and purchase crops on MSP which is compulsion in these markets. Their preference will be to buy the products outside the market with their willing price as there is no compulsion in them .Indirectly these mandis will be destroyed and farmers will be forced to sell their crops outside these mandis Hence no MSP on their crops.The main motive of any businessman being profit oriented would try to give low price to farmers on their crops in order to increase their profit. Another problem after abolish of these mandis the farmers are going to sell in the unregulated markets where government does not know what are selling to whom at what prices and at which quantity. This will make a great justification by government to not intervene in these outside markets. But in these APMC regulated markets the government are forced to involve when the prices of the crops seem to be lashed. This bill intends that farmers will able to do all the paperworks with big corporations in their benefits or favor when all these corporations will try every means to exploit the farmers. Also the small farmers will not be able to attract those corporation then where they will go? They will go to mandis; mandis are destroyed by these bills, which means that all small farmers are destroyed, their main source of livelihood is going to be taken away be these acts. The thousands of middlemen are going to be unemployed.Farmers sell their crops because middlemen have good bargaining skills than farmers with business corporations.
Every aspect has two sides, if we are accepting positive side of these acts than we have to accept negative impacts also. This is only one act discussed; similarly other two acts have both sides. If farmers are not going to survive in these laws then there is no use of making these laws. Union government shall review these laws and use best possible ways to fill the loopholes present in these laws for welfare of farmers , keeping in view that the negative impact of any law does not outweigh the positive impacts of those laws and from above mentioned facts it can be clearly seen negative impact outweigh the positive impact.