The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharastra Government submitted three amendment farm Bills in the State legislature on Tuesday in response to the Union government’s three new farm laws.
‘These Bills are brought to the House floor. This legislation is now up for debate. Farmers’ organizations have made proposals on the bills, which will be considered,’ Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar told.
Dadaji Bhuse, the state agriculture minister, tabled legislation to amend the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Act, 2020. He stated that a farming agreement is not genuine unless the price paid to the farmer is equal to or higher than the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The bill proposes that the farmer and sponsor enter into a farming agreement with mutual consent that is lower than MSP for a maximum of two years. ‘For crops where MSP is not announced, they may enter into farming agreements at a mutually agreed-upon price,’ the bill adds.
The law includes a provision for a minimum of three years in prison for harassing a farmer. Balasaheb Patil, the state’s Co-operation Minister, proposed the amendment to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020. According to the bill, no trader shall trade in any scheduled farmers’ produce unless such trader possesses a valid licence from a competent body.
Marketing agricultural produce such as fruits, vegetables, condiments, and spices does not require a licence or permission.
According to Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, there is no provision in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, as amended by the Centre, for the State to regulate or ban the production, supply, distribution, or imposing stock limitations under unusual circumstances. He stated that the State intends to alter the Act to grant the State such power.
State Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat stated that the Centre’s farm laws were approved without debate and that the State has the authority to establish laws, and that the Maharashtra administration wishes to propose revisions to the central agriculture laws.