Headlines September 21, 2020
Farmers’ body calls for protest in Punjab over farm bills
A statewide protest in Punjab has been called on 25 September against the farm bills in Parliament. Meanwhile thousands of farmers blocked the Ambala-Roorkee national highway in Haryana on Sunday to oppose the farm reform bills under discussion in the Parliament.
The protest was led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) state president Gurnam Singh Charuni. He said that the state government used police force, registered false cases against farmers and tried to divide farmers but it failed on all fronts.
“I want to assure the farmers of the state that the agitation will continue till the Central government withdraws its ordinances and the government cannot suppress the voice of the farmers,” said Charuni.
In Kurukshetra, district farmers blocked national and state highways at Ladwa, Kurukshetra and Shahbad towns. Commission agents have also extended support to the farmers. The police were deployed but they did not stop the farmers.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, Union minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two farm bills in the Rajya Sabha.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 permits the electronic trading of farmers’ produce and allows setting up of transaction platforms for enabling direct online buying and selling of farm products.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. A guaranteed price to be paid for the purchase of farming produce will be mentioned in such agreements.
Farmers’ bodies in some states and the Opposition parties have alleged that the two bills are aimed at benefitting big corporates and ending the minimum price based procurement of farm produce by the government.
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