Indian government claims to have created the new farm laws to enable the farmers to sell their crops in different states. However, thousands of farmers in Punjab are already selling their fruits, vegetables, basmati, and melons in various other states for decades without any interference or difficulty. In fact, new laws were introduced to give the free market to the corporates, traders, and other inter-state buyers, giving an advantage to commerce, not the farming sector.
The farmers have been freely selling their crops all across the country without any restriction. The Indian government started to propagate the laws by stating that “farmers can now freely sell their produce to different states.”
The Indian farming community continues to oppose the laws by referring them to the government’s efforts to assist corporates and drown farmers.
Private buyers were allowed to purchases the crops in the APMC; however, they had to pay extra tax. As these farm laws promote free markets, these buyers are now not required to pay any tax in the government-controlled market, which would eventually make the continuation of these APMC’s (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) difficult in the future. As a result, the APMC will diminish like in the state of Bihar.
Private buyers are often agents of big corporate companies who purchase the produces and then later sell at higher prices.
Statistics reveal that farmers in Punjab and Harayana’s regulated agriculture markets obtain 30% more price for their produce than their equivalents in uncontrolled and somewhat regulated markets in Bihar and Odisha in 2018-19. The study which published these statistics revealed that minimum support price (MSP) is the only risk-management device for farmers.
Khushwant Singh, a farmer from Jalandhar, Punjab, stated that he has been selling his vegetables and fruit produces in different states like Bihar, Bengal, UP, and Delhi for the past many years without facing any difficulty.
Singh stated that no law prohibited farmers from selling their products in different states, and the practice is prevalent for large farmers.
Wheat and Peddy are grown at extensive scales in Punjab and Harayana and the procurement of these two crops seems impossible. The government cannot handle wheat and paddy like fruit, vegetables, and other non-MSP products because the amount of other non-MSP crops is considerably limited correlated to these crops.
The Indian government is supporting “Neo-Liberalism,” which is a term used for open markets.
Open Markets have no government authority control and are very easy to manipulate by the big corporates. The Indian government needs to ensure that APMC’s and MSP remain in effect.
Farmers are not the only ones who are going to be impacted by these farm laws. The Indian government has also amended the “Essential Commodity Act,” allowing people to store an enormous amount of produce, removing paddy and wheat from Essential Commodities.
The common man in India would be among these farmers to suffer from these laws. The absence of an essential commodity act on wheat and paddy would allow these big corporates to store tons of products and then reduce the supply to the market to create more demand. This action is going to inflate the prices of wheat, paddy and all other farm produce. The higher prices are only going to benefits the corporates owning these extensive warehouses instead of the farmers or common producers.