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Punjab farm Bills provides for minimum 3 years imprisonment on sale-purchase below MSP

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh speaks during an Assembly session. File Photo  

The three Bills introduced in the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday to negate the Centre’s agriculture laws provide for imprisonment of not less than three years and fine for the sale-purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below Minimum Support Price.

This provision has been incorporated in The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020. According to the Bill, no sale or purchase should done below the MSP and violation of the same shall invite imprisonment of three years and fine. The Bill seeks to amend Sections 1(2), Sections 19 and 20 of the Centre’s Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. It also proposes to add new Sections that are Section 4, 6 to 11.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020, also seeks to amend Sections 1(2), 14 and 15 the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 to ensure that sale or purchase of wheat or paddy in the State is not allowed below the MSP. The amendment Bill also seeks to provide for punishment for harassment of farmers or payment of less price to the farmers by inserting new Sections 6 to 11.


Meanwhile, aiming to protect the consumers from hoarding and black-marketing of agricultural produce, to secure and protect the interests and livelihood of farmers and farm labourers as also all others engaged in agriculture and related activities, the State government has brought in The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Bill seeks to amend the Centre’s The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 by amending Section 1(2) and Section 3(1A) of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. It seeks to ensure status quo ante as on 4th June 2020 with regard to implementation of the Central Act namely, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

A fourth Bill — The Code of Civil Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020 — which was introduced in the House, seeks to insert a provision for exemption of agriculture land not exceeding 2.5 acres from Section 60 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which provides for attachment or decree of various properties, moveable and immoveable. Proviso-b to this Section states that the properties of the farmers such as cattle, implements, cowsheds, etc, would be exempt from attachment, but as on date agriculture land can be attached. Given the farmers’ apprehension about attachment-decree of their land as a consequence of enforcement of farming contracts or otherwise, the State government is seeking, through this Bill, to give full exemption to small farmers and others from attachment or decree of land up to 2.5 acres.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 9:31:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/punjab-farm-bills-provides-for-minimum-3-years-imprisonment-on-sale-purchase-below-msp/article32899448.ece

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