Farm Acts already national laws; States need not notify separately: Experts

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December 16, 2020 7:15 PM

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 -- are three farm laws which the central government notified in the 'Gazette of India' on September 27 after receiving the President's assent.

After adjusting for some expenditure towards pending dues to some eligible farmers, the total expenditure under the scheme in the current year will likely be around Rs 60,000 crore, a source said.After adjusting for some expenditure towards pending dues to some eligible farmers, the total expenditure under the scheme in the current year will likely be around Rs 60,000 crore, a source said.

Amid ongoing protests by thousands of farmers against three new Farm Acts and assertions by some states that they would not notify these legislations, government officials and constitutional experts said these are already national laws and therefore states are not required to notify them separately.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 — are three farm laws which the central government notified in the ‘Gazette of India’ on September 27 after receiving the President’s assent.

A senior Agriculture Ministry official told PTI: “The three farm laws enacted by the central government are national laws. They have come into force across the country from the date of notification. So, a separate notification by each state is not required.”

In some states, farmers are already taking advantage of various provisions of these legislations, the official added.
Asked if there was a special provision for the Delhi government which notified one of the three farm laws early this month, the official said, “It was not required.”

Expressing similar views, constitutional expert and former Lok Sabha Secretary-General Subhash Kashyap said: “These are national laws applicable throughout the country. They are printed in the Gazette and that is the notification for the entire country.”

“I don’t think it is necessary for states to separately notify them,” he added. Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi’s borders demanding the repeal of the three farm laws.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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