Some lesser known facts about MSP and farm bills that has potential to change India’s agriculture sector
The ongoing protest by Indian farmers against the three farm acts passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020 is indeed a global event. It has gained massive attention from Lok Sabha to Arabian pop artists, flooding tweets and videos.
Farmers’ unions and their members have requested that the laws be abolished and that nothing short of them be recognised. Farmer leaders have rejected a stay order by the Supreme Court of India concerning the implementation of agricultural legislation and the presence of a committee appointed by the Supreme Court. Farmer leaders have rejected the Government’s request, dated 21 January 2021, to postpone the legislation for 18 months.
Eleven rounds of talks were held between the central government and farmers represented by agricultural unions between 14 October 2020 and 22 January 2021, all of which were inclusive. Despite several rounds of talks, there is an impasse over the three agricultural laws. Farmers have been insisting that they would not put an end to their agitation until the legislation is taken back; on the other hand, the Centre has repeatedly emphasised that farmers will benefit greatly from such legislation.
So, what does the farm Law bring across the table of the farmers regarding MSP?
The government had asserted that the three farm laws were enacted in September after “two decades of consultations. In the past six years, the Modi government has gone about reforming the agriculture domain step-by-step. At every step of the agricultural cycle, the needs of the farmers have been kept in mind.
The new legislation by the government would bring major reforms in the agriculture sector by eliminating middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the world. However, protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the legislation would pave the way for the removal of the minimum support price (MSP) safety cushion.