Written by Naina Singh, a grade 6 student.
Ms. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries has resigned from the Modi government as a mark of protest against the farm Bills that the government has introduced – Bills are like rules that the government makes and once passed by the parliament they become laws that the people then need to follow.
Ms. Badal is a member of the Shiromani Akali Dal Party (SAD) and her husband, Sukhbir Singh Badal, is the president of SAD and a former deputy chief minister of Punjab.
SAD has been against the farm bills, which have sparked protests in Punjab and Haryana by farmer organizations. Called the Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Faciltaiton) Bill – it is very unpopular with the farmers of Punjab and Harayana who worry that they will not get the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.
What are these Bills? And why are the farmers unhappy?
There are actually three bills:
- The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020;
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020;
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
The farmers are mostly against the details of the first one – which concerns tings like sections on – “trade area”, “trader”, “market fee” etc.
Traders are basically people who buy the produce from the farmers and sell them in mandis etc.
What is the Minimum Support Price (MSP)?
The MSP is a price fixed by government to protect the producer – that is the farmer – against a big fall in price during years where the production has been good. It is a guarantee price by the government for the farmers’ produce.
The main aim of the MSP is to support the farmers from making sales for less money and also to procure food grains for public distribution. In case of over production, if the price falls below the announced minimum price, agencies of the government agencies buy the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.
The farmers said the the latest bills don’t ensure the MSP