Enactment of farm bills will lead to 'unrest' in Punjab: Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh speaks on Covid-19 issue, in Chandigarh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the enactment of farm sector bills now before Parliament would lead to "resentment and unrest" in the border state, which is already at the receiving end of Pakistan's concerted efforts to foment trouble.

The chief minister led a Congress delegation to submit a memorandum in this regard to Governor V P Singh Badnore, seeking his intervention for non-pursuance of the agriculture bills by the Centre in Parliament.

The Modi government on Monday introduced three bills in Lok Sabha on the farm sector, asserting that they will help farmers get a remunerative price for their produce as well as private investments and technology.

Accompanied by Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and others, Singh told Badnore that any move to tinker with the present procurement system, in times of a nationwide crisis, might "deepen social unrest" among farmers of the state.

"It may not be conducive for peace and development of the region, which faces serious challenges of public order due to a live international border," he added.

Citing Pakistan's bid to disturb the state's peace and stability through narco-terror and other anti-India acts, the chief minister said "anti-farmer" legislations would lead to rise in the people's anger.

"Why are we playing into the hands of Pakistan," he asked.

These bills, one of which was passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday, are against the "national interest" and particularly "detrimental" to Punjab, where the majority of farmers tilled less than five acres of land and would be worst hit, Singh said.

He said the Centre had "failed" to take the interest of the farmers into account in introducing these bills and "instead, took a stand in favour of corporate houses".

In a statement here, Singh said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi thrice on the issue but was yet to receive a response.

The enactment of the remaining two bills will "ruin" Punjab, he said.

If MSP (minimum support price) ends, which is what the Centre seems to be moving towards, the agriculture sector will be ruined in Punjab and across the country, Singh claimed.

Taking on the Akalis and Sukhbir Badal over their "U-turn" on the issue, the chief minister pointed out that all except the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were on board at the all-party meeting he had convened.

The Congress and his government have been vocally and vehemently opposing the bills all through, Singh pointed out.

Terming the passage of 'The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020', which seeks to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onion, in Lok Sabha a "black day" in the history of Parliament, Jakhar warned that under pressure from the farmer unions, the Akalis may even go to the extent of "enacting the drama" of resigning from the central government.

He praised the farmers of the country, especially in Punjab, who had compelled the Akalis to change their stance on the issue.

The Centre on Monday had introduced 'The Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, 2020', 'The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020' and 'The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020' to replace the ordinances promulgated earlier.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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