Rare meaningful debate in Assembly - ECAS Punjab

Rare meaningful debate in Assembly

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20

It is rather rare to see a meaningful debate in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, where for the past couple of years each political party has indulged more in theatrics than actual discussion. Tuesday, however, was an exception as the entire House stood united for the sake of the state's farmers.

From giving suggestions to include all 23 crops while giving guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP) to bringing a separate Bill that ensures enough resources with the state government to go in for crop purchase, lawmakers, cutting across party lines, came up with many ideas to "save" farmers from the "attack by the Centre".

Many leaders, including Harpartap Ajnala from the Congress and Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, expressed displeasure that in spite of farmers ushering a green revolution, the state was always at the receiving end of the Centre. "Itihaas gawah hai ke Punjab naal hamesha dhakka hoya hai," said Ajnala.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh set the mood of the debate today, before he brought in a resolution rejecting the Centre's laws. He said, "the issue was very serious as the future of Punjab's agriculture and economy was at stake. If the Centre can withdraw from paying compensation for the GST, for which there is a constitutional guarantee, how do we believe they will buy crops at the MSP, when they are unwilling to give a guarantee for it?" he said.

Though all parties supported the three Bills, they were concerned whether these would be forwarded to by the Governor and get presidential nod. Leader of Opposition Harpal Cheema and AAP's Aman Arora, as well as SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia, raised the issue of whether the Act passed by the state can override the Act passed by Parliament. The CM assured the House that he was ready to take legal recourse to get justice for Punjab farmers.

When some MLAs wanted the state government to repeal the amendments made to the APMC Act by successive governments in 2006, 2013 and 2017, allowing private purchase of grains, Finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal explained that the amendments were justified as the MSP was assured and the private players were registered so as to regulate their activities.

AAP leader Sarabjit Kaur said the corporates trying to enter trade in agriculture commodities should not be facilitated and allowed to buy land in the state. She also drew the attention of the House to the plight of landless labourers, saying their minimum daily income should be assured.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2HiplF7

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