Rajya Sabha Passes Two Farm Bills Amid Ruckus By Opposition
Farmhands carry bottle gourds picked at a farm where the vegetable is being grown as an alternative to rice in Karnal district, Haryana, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Rajya Sabha Passes Two Farm Bills Amid Ruckus By Opposition

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The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two contentious farm bills, which have triggered protests by farmers at several places, amid uproar by opposition members.

The two bills -- Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 -- were passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The House also rejected demands by several opposition parties to send the two bills to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee for greater scrutiny.

These bills will now be sent to the President of India for assent.

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide freedom to farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

The second bill, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, provides for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services.

Last week, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, food processing industries minister in Prime Minister Modi’s cabinet resigned in protest against the two bills. The Shiromani Akali Dal, a staunch BJP ally and the party to which Badal belongs, has strongly opposed the bills, labelling them anti-farmer.

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