‘Centre’s agriculture ordinance undermines federal structure’

It is an attempt to suppress rights of States: Amarinder

Published - June 06, 2020 12:03 am IST - CHANDIGARH

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has rejected the recently announced agriculture sector reforms by the Centre, terming it an attempt to undermine the federal structure of the nation.

Opposing the Centre’s move and calling it an attempt to suppress the rights of the States as enshrined under the Constitution, the Chief Minister said, “Punjab would fight any steps on the part of the Government of India to weaken the federal structure of the country through such direct and detrimental interference in the well-established agriculture produce marketing system of the State.”

Pointing out that the federal structure of India envisages well-defined roles and responsibilities for the Centre and the States, Capt. Amarinder said that under the Constitutional framework, agriculture is a State subject, and the Union government has no powers to make any legislation to deal with the dynamics of agricultural production, marketing and processing.

“These are State matters, which individual States are best placed to handle and manage,” he said, describing the “Farming Produce, Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020” as a highly ill-conceived move on the part of the Central government.

Khaira flays move

The Punjabi Ekta Party president and former Leader the of Opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, said the three ordinances passed by the Modi government were anti-farmer. He said the implementation of ordinances will ultimately lead to abolition of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and pave way for farmers’ exploitation at the hands of big corporate houses.

“By doing away with Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee Act that provided to procure the produce of farmers, the Modi government has given a free hand to private corporate houses to exploit the farmers,” he said.

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