Farmers from across the state of Punjab and Haryana began to protest when they got to know about the Farm bills. According to them, the bills aim to end MSP and favors big companies while the government of India says aims to give farmers more choice regarding whom they wish to sell their goods to. The bill has led Harismat Kaur Badal, Member of Parliament from Shiromali Akali Dal (SAD), to resign from her ministerial post. So, what does the farm bill entail, and what are the implications for the farmers and the consumers at large?
The farm bill passed in both houses of Parliament aims to combine previous three farm acts. It aims to bring the entire process in one single picture. The bill that is set to be the new law that aims to give more choices and freedom to farmers. Earlier, farmers could only sell their produce in the mandis and the states in return charged a mandi fees. This method allowed states to earn a revenue. Now that farmers can sell their produce even to private players, this revenue collected by the state from mandis can decrease. This will make states more depend on centre for revenue collection through GST.
Another disadvantage here is to the middle class and poor. The act removes essential commodities list and allows them in affect to be sold at a higher price. This in turn will lead to inflation making situation worse for the poor and average citizen. While the bill aims to remove the middle man, and give space to farmers to sell their produce to anyone they choose to. It puts them into a very difficult position. Everybody knows how big companies can pressurize farmers to buy into their whims and fancies.
Farmers afraid that they might have to cater to them, and that fear is leading them protesting across the country asking to scrap the law. Farmers are worried of falling into a trap of big corporate houses, and middle class is worries they will not be able to afford essential commodities with this act.
Whether the government has interest of the farmers or big corporate houses in mind, we do not know and depending on which side of the political spectrum you support, you will decide your views on the bill. What we can say the government must listen to all sides of the story, and make all that play a balanced act and keep people who vote for them happy.