New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: On the morning of Gurupurab when the Gurudwaras across the nation and beyond celebrated the day of birth of Guru Nanak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address brought about shock and surprise in equal proportions,as he announced that the Centre will repeal all three farm laws. Prime Minister apologised to the farmers protesting since over a year by underlining that he and his government could not convince them about the reforms and appealed to the protesting farmers to return back to their homes.

“Today I have come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws. In the Parliament session that starts at the end of this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal these three agricultural laws,” PM Modi said.

“Today, I apologise if some farmers did not understand our pure intention and what we wanted to do through the farm laws. We have decided to repeal the three farm laws,” added PM Modi.

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In September last year, President Ram Nath Kovind had signed the three farm bills passed by the Parliament and had effectively formulated them, into laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.

What were the three farm laws all about?

Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020: It allowed intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of APMC mandis.

Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 : It created a framework for contract farming through an agreement between a farmer and a buyer before the production of any farm produce, while producing a three-level dispute settlement mechanism.

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Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020: Under this Act, the central government could regulate the supply of food stuff only under extraordinary circumstances such as war, famine, exceptional price rise and grave natural calamities. However, restrictions on stocking of certain essential commodities was removed. It further specified that stock limit could only be imposed if there was 50 per cent rise in retail price of non-perishable agricultural foodstuff over the price prevailing in the preceding 12 months or average retail price of last five years, whichever was lower.

Why a section of farmers opposed farm laws?

- Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, protested at interstate borders near Delhi since November 26 last year, demanding repeal of all the three farm laws.

- The protesting farmers sought the guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) to ensure procurement of crops at a suitable price and suggested that farm laws threatened the MSP system in-place.

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- They protesting farmers also sought MSP as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission report. That is, the MSP to be upped at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production.

- Various protesting farmers’ Unions want the Mandi System to be protected and saw farm laws as a threat to existing system.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma