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FARM BILL 2020: NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF FARMERS – SDPI

New Delhi: Mohammad Shafi, National General Secretary of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has stated that the three bills, Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, and Farm Services Bill and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill passed in the ongoing parliament session, do not benefit the farmers, but the corporate. A minister has already resigned protesting the passage of bill, and farmers are on the streets against the bills which they claim are anti-farmer.

Farmers have not taken the assurance of the government that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) wouldn’t be affected. They fear that the Centre will end the current system of open-ended FCI procurement. Farmers think that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other central agencies will shut down annual wheat and rice purchases from the states, leaving them at the mercy of traders' predatory practices. Their apprehensions cannot be ignored.

The bills that will become Acts once passed in Rajya Sabha take away the tax income of the states. This is in contrast to the federal nature of the country. The central government is moving fast towards autocracy by not involving the stakeholders in discussions related to issues related to them, alleged Shafi. He urged the central government to address the concerns raised by the farmers before enacting the bills.

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