Punjab’s Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on October 20, 2020 moved a resolution in the Legislative Assembly to reject the Centre’s three new farm laws that go against the interests of farmers and landless workers.
To counter the new laws, Singh moved three Bills specific to Punjab — the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Amendment Bill 2020, the Essential Commodities Bill 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill 2020.
Addressing members of the House, he said that the Centre seemed to have ignored the fact that agriculture is a state subject and said, “I find it very strange what the government of India wants to do.”
On October 14, the state cabinet decided at a meeting in Chandigarh to convene a special session of the assembly. During the meeting, Singh said the Punjab government will vehemently fight the anti-federal and vicious farm laws through legislative, legal and other routes.
The special session was intended to bring in necessary amendments to state laws to negate the dangerous impact of the new laws that could ruin farmers as well as the state’s agriculture and economy.
Previously, the state had also rejected the then ordinances during an assembly session on August 28. Farmers have been holding protests, demanding that the laws be repealed. They fear the new laws will dismantle the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and leave them to deal with big corporates.
On the other hand, the centre argues that the new laws will raise farmers’ income, free them of middlemen and usher in new technology in farming.
The three state Bills can be seen below: