Parl repeals controversial farm laws

NEW DELHI, 29 Nov: The Parliament on Monday approved the repeal of the three controversial farm laws in rushed voice votes in both Houses on the opening day of the winter session as the government stonewalled the opposition demand for a debate.

The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021, which sought to rescind the three laws passed last year to ease rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm crops, was taken up by the Lok Sabha, which passed it within minutes and, thereafter, it was introduced in the Rajya Sabha and was approved by voice vote.

The whole exercise was completed within two hours.

The bill now awaits the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind for the formal withdrawal of the three contentious laws against which farmers have been protesting for the past year.

In both Houses, opposition parties led by the Congress demanded a discussion over the repeal bill but couldn’t get it initiated.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 had triggered a massive agitation by farmer bodies, especially in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Though the implementation of the law had been stayed by the Supreme Court, farmer bodies have been squatting on roads leading to the national capital from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for just over a year now.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on 19 November announced the decision to repeal the laws – the biggest policy rollback since he led the BJP to power in 2014. (PTI)