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Rajasthan State Assembly Passes 3 Farm Bills To Negate Impact Of Centre's Farm Laws [Read Bills]

Sparsh Upadhyay
2 Nov 2020 4:54 PM GMT
Rajasthan State Assembly Passes 3 Farm Bills To Negate Impact Of Centres Farm Laws [Read Bills]
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Just 13 days after the Punjab Assembly adopted a resolution against the Centre's farm laws and unanimously passed four bills and in effect countered the Centre's contentious legislations, the Rajasthan Assembly on Monday (02nd November) passed 3 farm bills.

It may be noted that the Rajasthan government had, on Saturday (31st October) introduced three bills in the Assembly to negate the impact of the farm laws enacted by the Centre.

Rajasthan's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal had introduced:-

· The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020,

· The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020 and

· The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020.

3 Bills explained in brief

(1) The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill

Preamble - A Bill to amend, and add special provisions in, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 in its application to the State of Rajasthan, with a view to restore the agricultural safeguards for the farmers of the State of Rajasthan ensured through the regulatory framework of the Rajasthan Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961 (Rajasthan Act No. 38 of 1961), in order to secure and protect the interests and livelihood of farmers and farm labourers and also all others engaged in agriculture and related activities.

Objective of the Bill in Brief - This Bill, could be understood in contrast with the Centre's Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

The Bill provides that that no Farming Agreement for the sale or purchase of a crop shall be valid unless the price paid for such agricultural produce is equal to, or greater than, the prevailing Minimum Support Prices, announced by the Central Government for that crop.

The Bill also provides that "where a farming agreement has been entered into in respect of any farming produce under this Act, such produce shall be liable to the fee/cess/ cesses/charges payable under the APMC Act and such fees/ cess/cesses/charges shall be utilized for the welfare of farmers and development of market infrastructure"

However, a Proviso has been included to this provision, which says that the fees/cess/cesses/charges shall be payable by the sponsor and its burden shall not be transferred on the farmer.

(2) The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020

Preamble - A Bill to amend, and add special provisions in, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, in its application to the State of Rajasthan, with a view to restore the safeguards for the farmers of the State of Rajasthan through the regulatory framework of the Rajasthan Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961 (Rajasthan Act No. 38 of 1961), in order to secure and protect the interests and livelihood of farmers, farm labourers and also all others engaged in agriculture and related activities.

Objective of the Bill in brief - This Bill could be understood in contrast with Centre's Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020.

The Bill passed by the Rajasthan Assembly seeks to penalise traders, if they harass farmers and the offence shall be punishable with a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and extending upto seven years or fine of not less than five lac rupees or both.

As per the Bill, harassment will be said to be committed where the trader does not accept the delivery of the farm produce agreed upon or having accepted the delivery does not make the payment to the farmer in accordance with the terms of the agreement or within three days from the date of receipt of delivery of goods, whichever is earlier.

The Bill also makes a provision wherein the State Government may, from time to time, notify a Fee/Cess/Cesses/Charges, which shall be levied on notified agricultural produce, brought or bought or sold, as the case may be, by a corporate or trader and/or on the electronic trading and transaction platform, as the case may be, for trade and commerce in a trade area.

However, it also says that the Fees/Cess/Cesses/Charges leviable under sub-section (1) shall be credited in the fund/s, set up for running of market committee and welfare of farmers or other purposes related to welfare and promotion of agriculture or agriculturist.

Notably, the Central law prohibits imposition of any "market fee or cess or levy" on any farmer or trader or electronic trading in a farmers' produce trade area.

It also states that a dispute may be resolved through the State APMC Act rather than through a sub-divisional Magistrate, as given in the Central Act.

(3) The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2020

Preamble - A Bill further to amend and add special provisions in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, in their application to the State of Rajasthan, with a view to protect consumers from hoarding and black-marketing of agricultural produce and to secure and protect the interests and livelihood of farmers and farm labourers as also all others engaged in agriculture and related activities.

Objective of the Bill in brief - The Bill makes a provision that the State Government, shall also have the power to order for regulating or prohibiting the production, supply, distribution, imposing stock limits under extraordinary circumstances, which may include famine, price rise, natural calamity or any other situation.

Further, a provision has also been introduced in this bill, wherein the provisions of this Act shall have overriding effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.

Centre's Farm Laws

It may be noted that On Sunday (27th September 2020) the Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) had notified the presidential assent to the following 3 Acts:-

1. The Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Act, 2020; (Presidential assent received on 24th September)

2. The Farmers (Empowerment And Protection) Agreement On Price Assurance And Farm Services Act, 2020; (Presidential assent received on 24th September)

3. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and (Presidential assent received on 26th September)

Explained: The 3 Farmers Bills And The Controversies Surrounding Them

Three Farm Bills Receive Presidential Assent [Read Notification]

Click Here To Download Bill - 1

[Read Bill]


Click Here To Download Bill - 2

[Read Bill]



Click Here To Download Bill - 3

[Read Bill]



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