Cabinet approves repeal of agricultural laws ahead of winter session of Parliament

PM Modi chaired the cabinet meeting today in which the draft law to repeal three agriculture laws was approved. This decision has been taken before the winter session of Parliament.

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the draft law to repeal agricultural laws introduced today in the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur informed in the press conference that the cabinet under the leadership of PM Modi has completed the formalities to repeal three agricultural laws. Thakur further said that it would be the priority of the government to withdraw these three laws during the upcoming session of Parliament.

The repeal bill is taking back three agriculture laws passed last year – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of three controversial agricultural laws on the occasion of Gurpurab. PM Modi said that the government has taken a decision in the interest of the country.

The Center has now listed the Agricultural Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 on its agenda for the winter session of Parliament beginning November 29. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry is mulling over the exact dates for discussing the three laws in the upcoming Parliament session, informed Union Minister Pralhad Joshi.

The United Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of around 20 farmer unions, is going ahead with its planned march to Parliament on November 29 to follow a year-long protest over the anti-agriculture law. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the SKM thanked him for the repeal of three agricultural laws, but said that “after 11 rounds of talks, you chose the path of unilateral declaration rather than a bilateral solution”.

The decision to scrap the laws comes ahead of crucial state elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

What are the three agricultural laws?

The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act provides for setting up a mechanism to allow farmers to sell their agricultural produce outside Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Any licensed trader can buy produce from farmers at mutually agreed prices. This trade of agricultural products will be free from mandi tax imposed by the state governments.

The Agreement on Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Act allows farmers to take up contract farming and market their produce freely.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act is an amendment to the existing Essential Commodities Act.

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