Govt introduces new bills to transform agriculture and raise farmers' income
Legislations will enable barrier-free trade in farm produce and empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice
Three bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 14, 2020 that can transform agriculture in the country and improve income of farmers, The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 were tabled in the Lok Sabha . The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers' produce.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 seeks to provide for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities.
Reacting to the ‘Agriculture and Trade bills’, Sanjay Kumar, CEO & MD, Elior India said, “Freeing up the sale of agricultural produce and giving choice to producers to be able to sell their output where they please and at prices which they can directly negotiate is a huge step forward in enabling a more transparent and remunerative price for commodities to farmers. However, the benefit of such an exercise can only be realised fully, if input tax credit is restored on food sales, otherwise, it will at best help in traders making profit through geographical arbitrage”.