Three farm laws to repealed: Bill approved by Union Cabinet

Farmer Protest

Farmer Protest

Five days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to repeal the three contentious farm laws against which the farmers had been protesting for a year, the Union Cabinet Wednesday cleared the bill to be taken up in the upcoming Parliament session to roll back the laws.

The bill, now approved by the Cabinet, will be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament, beginning next week.Making the announcement, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said that the “formalities” to repeal the three laws — Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 — has been completed in the first meeting of the Cabinet since Modi’s announcement last week.

“Today (Wednesday), when the Cabinet met under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we completed the formalities to repeal the laws,” Thakur said. “In the upcoming session, it will be our priority to repeal the three farm laws,” Thakur said.

However, he did not answer questions if the government will bring a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price, which has been another major demand of the protesting farmers. The Cabinet Wednesday also approved an extension of the Prime Minister Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme till March 2022.

Thakur said the cabinet has decided to extend the PMGKAY for a period of four months — December 2021 to March 2022 — under which over 80 crore people of the country are entitled to get food grains like wheat or rice free of cost every month. Since the beginning of the scheme in March 2020, crores of people have benefited from it,” Thakur said.




 

He added, “There will be an expenditure of Rs 53,344 crore for the scheme during the next four months.” “The free food grains under the PMGKAY will be provided to beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013 and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme over and above their entitlements,” Thakur said. At the time of the launch of the scheme, the government’s focus was to ensure that no family remains hungry during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“India is the only country in the world which has provided foodgrains to 80 crore people for months. Till now, 600 lakh metric tonne foodgrains have been allocated and 541 lakh metric tonne foodgrains have been distributed. It has been provided to people across all the states and Union Territories. There will be a total expenditure of Rs 2.60 lakh crore on this scheme, including for the extended period of four months,” Thakur said.

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