Amid the opposition ruckus in the Parliament, a bill to cancel the three contentious farm laws that had the farmers up in arms was passed in record time in both houses as parliament’s Winter Session today without any discussion.
The bill was tabled by Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the Lok Sabha.
Congress and other Opposition parties demanded discussion over the bill, which was ignored by the Speaker Om Birla.
The bill was passed through a voice vote.
According to the reports, the government plans to get it signed by the President by tonight.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar later tabled the bill was later tabled in the upper House of Parliament by . Urging the Opposition parties to cooperate with the government, Union minister Pralhad Joshi earlier said there was enough discussion on the issue when they were passed in Parliament.
The three contentious farm laws -Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; (2) Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and (3)Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 – enacted by the Parliament in September 2020, have been stoutly opposed by several farmers organizations. Several farmers groups across the nation
have been holding widespread protests and agitations for over a year since the passing of these laws demanding that they be scrapped.
In January 2021, the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of these laws until further orders, to facilitate a process of negotiation between the Centre and the protesting groups. The Supreme Court had also constituted a committee to hold the talks. However, the leaders of the farmers unions boycotted the committee.
The main grievance raised by the farmers is that the laws will result in the dismantling of the state-run Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees, and will disrupt the Minimum Support Price mechanism. The protesting farmers fear that the laws will pave the way for corporate exploitation. A batch of petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of these farm laws and also questioning the competence of the Parliament in enacting the same.