Mumbai: Farmer’s group demands 
withdrawal of 3 amendment bills

The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) that is a key ally of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state, on Thursday, strongly demanded the withdrawal of three bills tabled in the legislature. The three bills are the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, that were passed by the parliament. The government’s move aimed to counter these three Central farm laws.

The bills propose higher than MSP rate for produce in farming agreement with traders, timely payment of dues, three-year jail term and Rs 5 lakh fine or both for harassment of farmers. The state government will have the power to regulate and prohibit production, supply and distribution and impose stock limits on essential commodities.

However, the SSS founder and former MP Raju Shetti said the state should bring a new act in a bid to protect the interest of the farmers. “The SSS does not want to interfere in the dispute between the Centre and the state government over the three Central farm laws. However, we want to highlight that Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh governments have passed bills in their respective legislatures, but they have yet to be signed by the governors. Therefore, we want the MVA government to table a new law by withdrawing these three amendment bills,” he added.

Shetti said he, along with other allies, recently met and discussed the need for the withdrawal of the bills. According to him, the allies have met with the MVA leaders and NCP chief Sharad Pawar to press their demand.

Shetti warned that if the government did not withdraw these bills then the SSS will launch a state-wide agitation.

He said the SSS and other allies are supporting the farmer’s agitation, which will complete eight months on July 25.

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