Punjab Assembly passes bills against Centre’s farm laws; Oppn supports

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Punjab Assembly passed bills against the Centre’s farm laws on Tuesday, after an over five-hour discussion.

Punjab Assembly has passed bills against the Centre’s farm laws on Tuesday, after an over five-hour discussion. The Opposition SAD, AAP and Lok Insaaf MLAs backed the legislations. However the BJP MLAs did not take part in the proceedings.

According to sources, following a marathon five-hour discussion, the Punjab Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed four Bills to negate the Centre’s three contentious farm laws. The Opposition parties, including SAD, AAP and MLAs of Lok Insaaf Party, backed the legislations.

The Bills seek to amend the Farmers Produce Facilitation Act, the Farmers Agreement and Farm Services Act, the Essential Commodities Act, and the Civil Procedure Code.

Punjab government’s legislative counter provides three years imprisonment and fine for sale or purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below the minimum support price. The provisions exempt farmers from the attachment of land up to 2.5 acres. And it prevents hoarding and black marketing of agricultural produce.

Punjab Assembly hands resolution to Governor

Speaking with reporters, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the government handed copies of the resolution to the Governor for approval. Singh said his government’s four Bills would prevent the damage that the central laws cause to the state and its agriculture, while allaying the fears of farmers and consumers.

“The Bills (Farm Bills) have become an Act at the Parliament but Vidhan Sabha unanimously rejected those Acts. We’ve adopted a resolution and have come here together,” Singh said.

“It first goes to Governor, then to President. If it doesn’t happen then we have legal methods too. I hope the Governor would approve it, because it is unanimous,” Singh added.

The Chief Minister said that he had sought an appointment from President Ram Nath Kovind between November 2 and 5. “Entire Vidhan Sabha will go to him,” he said.

As the House took up the Bills and the resolution for discussion, SAD MLA Bikram Singh Majithia welcomed the legislations. He said the Bills need the consent of the Governor or the President before they become Acts.

Singh said his government would not allow the BJP to ruin the farming community and agriculture through such devious methods. The CM said he was ready to “resign or be dismissed rather than bow to injustice towards Punjab’s farmers”.

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