With the latest move, commodities such as cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potato are likely to get deregulated as no stock limit will be applicable to processors or traders.
The Union Cabinet today approved the amendment to the decades-old Essential Commodities Act, following up on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ economic stimulus measures, allowing for major deregulation of the agricultural market in India. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the amendment in the act will help to attract investments into the farm sector. With the latest move, commodities such as cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potatoes are likely to get deregulated, as no stock limit will be applicable to processors or traders. Calling today as a historic day for the farm sector, the agriculture minister said that India got independence in 1947 but the country’s farmers are freed today.
The government also said that the farmers are now free from the clutches of the Agriculture Producer Market Committee (APMC), and now they can sell their produce anywhere at competitive prices. Farmers can also sell goods on electronic platforms, for which there will be no tax on sale outside APMC markets. These steps have been taken in tune with India’s vision to move forward as ‘one nation one market’, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
In another landmark decision, the government said that farmer’s land will not be at stake in case of any dispute, and the SDM or district collector will be responsible to settle the disputes related to farmers. Stating that 85 per cent of the total farmers in India are small farmers, Narendra Singh Tomar said that today’s measures will make traders, processors, capital, and technology accessible to small farmers.
Meanwhile, the government assured to come up with a model agreement for contract farming and have promised a minimum price to farmers, which will be 50 per cent higher MSP than the input cost. Minister Narendra Singh Tomar further said that the Modi government has accepted the Swaminathan report and has rolled out provisions to increase the MSP. The government underlined that today’s measures will take the country’s farm sector to a new height and will dramatically improve the living standards of Indian farmers.