The Farm Laws Repeal Act, 2021 brings to an end a legislative battle that began with the introduction of three controversial Bills:
- 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 bills became Acts on 25 September, 2020 when the government introduced the bills and without discussion passed in both Houses of Parliament. The claim to facilitate contract farming, provide more choice in agricultural marketing and remove restrictions on essential commodities. Farmers, spearheaded by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a platform of protesting farm unions, do not think the three Acts to help alleviate the distressed agricultural sector.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
Allows farmers to sell their harvest outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis without paying any State taxes or fees
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
facilitates contract farming and direct marketing
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
deregulates the production, storage, movement and sale of several major foodstuffs, including cereals, pulses, edible oils and onion, except in the case of extraordinary circumstances