Shillong, Sept 28: The Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee on Monday submitted a memorandum to the President of India urging him to repeal the farm laws – terming them ‘three black laws.’
President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price assurance Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 on Sunday.
Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being blind to the agony of the farmers and suppressing voices of protest to serve ‘crony capitalists friends.’
MPCC Working President James S. Lyngdoh, at a meeting here, said that the bills will end Minimum Support Price, allow Unregulated Market and the entry of Rich Private Business Houses, and end Cooperative Federalism in the constitution.
The Memorandum signed by MPCC Working President, MPCC Secretary & MDC Bajop Pyngrope & Umroi MLA B. George Lyngdoh stated that abolishing the Agriculture Produce Market Committee will destroy the procurement system.
“In such a scenario, the farmers will neither get the ‘Minimum Support Price’ nor the price of their crop as per the market price,” the memorandum read, citing the example of Bihar.
Further, it read that pre-determined MSP is the benchmark to decide ‘Price Discovery’ and if crops are purchased by capitalists in the agriculture farm itself, Congress questioned as to how the farmers will get MSP, price determination, weight and bargaining for prices.
“Will the FCI purchase farmers crop from the fields of 15.5 crore farmers? If a handful of crony capitalists do not purchase farmer’s crop at MSP, will the Modi Govt guarantee MSP to farmers?” the memorandum read.
It also stated that abolition of the Mandi system will snatch away the livelihood of labourers, commission agents, Munim, loaders, transporters, sellers and more.
The Memorandum also mentioned that states revenue from Market Fees and Rural Development Fund will dry up.
On contract farming, Congress stated that it was an intention ‘to render the farmer merely a labourer in their own lands by getting him entangled in the contract system.’
It also stated that there is no provision for the protection of labour rights or for protection of persons engaged in agriculture, taking land on rent.
Meanwhile, it said that lifting the stock limit on agricultural produce, consumable items and fruit-flower-vegetables will only lead to hoarding and black marketing.