Congress MP Karti Chidambaram on Friday dared Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami and AIADMK to oppose the Union government's stance on the three farm laws. This comes in the wake of DMK chief MK Stalin calling for the passage of a resolution against the farm legislation in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. In a letter addressed to Palaniswami, he pointed out that TN was the first state to waive farm loans and provide free electricity to the agricultural sector.
Moreover, the Leader of Opposition in the TN Assembly opined that it was necessary for the MLAs to echo the sentiments of the farmers protesting on the Delhi borders. Chidambaram reckoned that AIADMK lacked the courage to take on BJP. While the party has officially backed the farm laws, its MP SR Balasubramoniyan opposed the legislation in the Rajya Sabha. A day earlier, the Kerala Assembly unanimously passed a resolution
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The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 aims at freeing the farmers from the constraints of the state Agriculture Produce Market Committees whereby they would be able to sell their produce anywhere. Meanwhile, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 protects and empowers farmers to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters for farm services. This entails the provision of contract farming. On the other hand, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 specifies that the supply of foodstuffs including cereals, pulses, potato, edible oilseeds, and oils shall be regulated only under exceptional circumstances.
In a welcome development, the 7th round of talks witnessed a breakthrough with the Union government agreeing not to penalise farmers for stubble burning and to continue the present mechanism of giving subsided electricity for agricultural use. Maintaining that the talks were held in a cordial atmosphere, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to the farmer leaders to send home the elderly, women and children given the chilly winter season. During the meeting, the unions rejected the Centre's offer to form a committee to examine the agrarian laws. The next round of discussions on January 4, 2021, will focus on the three farm laws and MSP.