The Aam Aadmi (AAP) Punjab has said that the three ordinances passed by the Union Government recently would hit the agriculture sector hard in the country in general and Punjab in particular, leaving teeming millions of farmers and labourers and others associated with the sector to rue and rant for life. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, released from party headquarters in Chandigarh on Saturday, state unit president and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann said the much talked-about reform package for farmers had three ordinances, introduced by the union Government, was nothing but a mere political gimmickry on its part the name of agricultural reforms, claiming it had indeed come as a boon for certain patronised corporate houses, and curse for the farming fraternity across the country Elaborating on the issue in the letter, Bhagwant Mann said the amendment to Essential Commodities Act, and other ordinances, including the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020, had been pushed through to legalising contract farming in the sector, saying these deadly ordinances would prove detrimental to the survival of the farmers and other associated with the sector. Mann said the ordinances purportedly to kick in farm reforms would prove to be a death blow to the staggering state’s rural economy. The move, he said, was set to incur mammoth financial losses to farmers, ‘Aarhtiyas’, transporters, and others associated with the sector, who would rendered jobless, if the ordinances were allowed to be implemented, thus demolishing the existing world class marketing model.
He alleged, in the letter, saying the union government was hell bent on demolishing the existing rock solid farm structure by handing it over to the corporate housesThe AAP MP said the move was not going to help the farmers for many reasons than one. He invited the attention of the prime minster, saying the Bihar state, which had done away with the APMCs in 2006, while other states across the country were without APMCs, adding the ordinances would prove to be a boon for big corporate houses empowering them to strike a bargain with the farmers, divesting them their bargaining power at that. It would, Mann claimed, end up demolishing the existing structure without replacing it with a better one.The AAP leader, in the letter, expressing his hunch, said that the move would demolish the age-old financial support system the farmers and Aarhtiyas had forged, alleging it would pave the way for corporators by according legal sanctions to contract farming, which was a well thought-out design to eliminate farmers. Bhagwant Mann said in the letter that Punjab, being primarily an agrarian state had a vast government agricultural support infrastructure for rural farmer, which would be relegated to the patronised private players in the farm sector. The AAP leader said the Rural Development Fund being generated out of the standard procedures would be impacted, leading to huge financial losses thus posing a bottleneck the pace of rural development. He added the timings and the way these ordinances were being pushed across reflected the anti-farmer face of the state and union government while people of the country were waging a formidable battle against the killer the corona virus, triggering the clamping national lockdown. Mann these teensy mercies being showered by the government through these deadly ordinances were not going to benefit the farmers at large. He alleged these ordinances, which seem to have pushed across in a tearing hurry without debating them threadbare Parliament as had been tradition. Bhagwant Mann posed a query, saying “Who gave the union government the powers to legislate on agriculture and intra-state trade, which had hitherto been the state subjects. If it really wanted to bring in historic reforms to agricultural laws for the benefit of the farmers, it should have faced public and parliamentary scrutiny, Mann said in the letter.