Highlighting the importance of the Union Cabinet's decision regarding farmers taken on Wednesday, PM Modi tweeted that it will have a very positive impact on rural India. He added that the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 will pave the way for the creation of One India, One Agriculture Market. Moreover, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 will give farmers greater freedom to engage with retailers while protecting their interests.
Today’s Cabinet decisions will have a very positive impact on rural India, especially our industrious farmers.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 3, 2020
Long-pending agrarian reforms will enable the transformation of the sector. https://t.co/iLkNAGXgTH
ग्रामीण व उद्योगिक क्षेत्रों को सशक्त करने वाले ऐतिहासिक निर्णयों के लिए प्रधानमंत्री @narendramodi जी का अभिनन्दन करता हूँ।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 3, 2020
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जैसे निर्णय ‘अन्नदाता सुखी भव:' व आत्मनिर्भर भारत के संकल्प को साकार करेंगे।
Earlier in the day, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the important decisions taken by the Union Cabinet pertaining to agriculture and other sectors. First, he stated that the amendment had been made in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, to ensure that the farmers get a good price on many commodities. Items such as food grains, oil, dal, pulses, potato have been removed from the purview of this Act.
The cabinet has approved an ordinance to free the farmers from the constraints of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee whereby the farmers would be able to sell their produce anywhere. Javadekar also mentioned that the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance. This would ensure that farmers get greater freedom to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters while protecting their interests. These schemes had already been announced as part of the economic tranches rolled out by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced 11 measures - of which 8 of them focused on strengthening infrastructure, capacities and building better logistics in Agriculture, Fisheries and animal husbandry, while the rest 3 pertained to governance and administrative reforms. Agricultural reforms included rolling out schemes to finance farming infrastructure, micro food enterprises, fishermen, animal health, dairy infrastructure, herbal cultivation, bee-keeping and food supply chain management. This was the third installment of the Centre's Rs 20 lakh crore COVID-19 relief package.
On the governance measures, the Centre announced that it will amend the Essential Commodities Act which was enacted in 1955 to enable better price realisation for farmers by attracting investments - making agriculture sector competitive. It also will agriculture marketing reforms to provide marketing choices to farmers via a Central law to provide - Adequate choices to the farmer to sell the product at an attractive price, barrier-free inter-state trade, a framework for e-trading of agriculture produce. Some politicians have pointed out that agriculture is a state matter, slamming the ordinance as an overreach by Modi govt.