Rajasthan govt introduces 3 Bills against farm laws

Rajasthan government introduces three Bills to negate impact of Centre's farm laws

Rajasthan is the third state to pass state-specific laws to negate the central laws that were passed in September by both the Houses of Parliament

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Credit: PTI Photo

Congress-ruled Rajasthan on Saturday set the ball rolling for negating the farm sector reforms initiated by the Modi government by introducing three Bills in the state assembly.

Rajasthan’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal introduced The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the state assembly on the first day of the special session.

Also read: Four Bills, resolution moved against farm laws in Punjab assembly

The state assembly adjourned the proceedings for the day after the introduction of the three Bills and is scheduled to reconvene on Monday to discuss and pass the legislation.

Rajasthan is the third state to pass state-specific laws to negate the central laws that were passed in September by both the Houses of Parliament.

Acting on directives of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Punjab and Chhattisgarh have already passed state-specific laws, rejecting Modi government’s agri-sector reforms that promote contract farming and give farmers the option to sell their produce beyond the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets.

However, the laws passed by the three Congress-ruled states could end up being a symbolic political gesture as they would require the assent of Governors of the respective states and President Ram Nath Kovind.

“The farm laws were passed by the Centre without taking state governments into confidence. This has led to widespread protests. Centre is lying to farmers and we are trying to secure their rights and will pass farm bills similar to those in Punjab,” Rajasthan Minister Pratap Singh Kachariyawas told reporters in Jaipur.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill also proposes punishment of imprisonment from three to seven years with or without a fine of Rs five lakh if any person, company or corporate house or any other association or body of persons harasses farmers.

"INC under the leadership of Smt #SoniaGandhi ji& #RahulGandhi Ji stands absolutely with our annadatas and will continue to oppose the anti-farmer laws passed by NDA Govt. Today Congress Govt in #Punjab has passed Bills against these laws & #Rajasthan will follow soon,” Gehlot tweeted on October 20.