Agriculture reforms will trigger unrest, says Punjab CM - ECAS Punjab

Agriculture reforms will trigger unrest, says Punjab CM

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Chandigarh, June 5

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today termed the Centre's agri reforms as yet another brazen attempt to erode and destabilise the country's federal structure. The move would trigger unrest among the farming community, he said.

His comments came as President Ram Nath Kovind today promulgated two key ordinances cleared by the Union Cabinet to kick in agriculture reforms to help farmers trade freely and fetch better prices.

The CM, in a videoconference, also announced the setting up of a three-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria to probe sale and smuggling of illicit liquor during the lockdown. He said strict action would be taken against all those involved in the racket, be it Excise Department officials or the kingpin. He said the Centre's move to bring in an ordinance to amend the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act could pave the way for disbanding the MSP and foodgrain procurement regimes. He said the Centre was in the habit of forcing sudden decisions on the states, without taking into consideration their views. He said he would soon take up the issue with the Centre.

The Centre's move could have serious economic, social and law and order consequences. Instead of gaining, farmers will suffer at the hands of traders due to this legislative change, he claimed.

He said individual states were best placed to handle and manage such issues. The "Farming Produce, Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020" was a highly ill-conceived move on part of the Centre, he added.

The Punjab Government has already made necessary amendments to the state APMC Act to provide for setting up of regulated mandis even in the private sector for specific produces. In fact, annual sale/purchase worth around Rs 80,000 crore was made in Punjab's Market Yards that effectively supported 65 per cent of the state's population, he claimed. — TNS



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