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Farm laws repeal Act 2021 gets President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday signed the bill to cancel the three controversial farm laws.

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This came after 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.

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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 Lok Sabha which passed it within minutes and, thereafter, it was introduced in Rajya Sabha and approved by voice vote. The whole exercise was completed within two hours.

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

In Rajya Sabha, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said “there is no need for a discussion” as the opposition parties had been seeking repeal of the laws and the government was now doing it.

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.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Wednesday demanded that the government should provide Rs 5 crore compensation to the families of the farmers who died during the farm laws agitation and also accept other demands of the tillers, including a legal guarantee for MSP.

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Speaking in the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour, the MP from Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib said it was because of the “historic” farmers’ movement that the three black farm laws” have been taken back.

He said that over 700 framers have been “martyred” in the farmers’ movement.

“I would like to demand from that government that a list of those farmers (who died in the agitation) be prepared and their families be given Rs 5 crore compensation each. The farmers’ demand of (legal guarantee for) MSP as well as other demands, the government should do justice to them,” he said.

On the other hand, the Centre said it has no record of farmers who died during the agitation against the farm laws.

In its response to a question on whether it proposes to provide financial assistance to the kin of farmers who died during the agitation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare replied in the Parliament that it has “no record in the matter and hence the question does not arise.”

On the third day of the winter session, the Leader of Congress Party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue of the death of farmers during the protest against farm laws.

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