Tamil Nadu

Decks cleared for Tamil Nadu farm law

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin chairing a meeting.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

With the Union Government deciding to repeal three farm laws, the decks have been cleared for the implementation of the amendment made last year to the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act (the APMC Act), which is aimed at, among others, giving freedom to agriculturists to sell their produce across time and space.

On May 29, 2020, the then AIADMK government got an ordinance promulgated to amend the APMC Act, which covered a host of areas, such as providing for geographically restriction-free trade or transaction of agricultural produce across the State; enhancing transparency in trade; promoting emergence of multiple channels to competitive marketing; and encouraging investments in development of markets and marketing infrastructure.


A week later, on June 5, the Union Government came out with three ordinances, including the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Law, which had enlarged the scope of ‘trade area’ to any area or location or place of production, collection and aggregation anywhere in the country for the trade of farmers’ produce. However, this was not applicable to the physical boundaries of those market yards or markets falling under the State APMC Acts. It was this aspect of allowing barrier-free trade of farmers’ produce outside the markets notified under the State APMC laws became the cause of agitation by sections of farmers.

Though Tamil Nadu has been allowing virtually deregulated conditions for the farm market, it has not disturbed the power of the market committees, set up under the APMC Act, to monitor transactions taking place outside the regulated markets. The May 2020 ordinance, too, had left this aspect intact. However, with the constitutional position of a Central law prevailing over a State law on the same subject, the Tamil Nadu Government did not proceed to frame the rules, despite getting the ordinance approved by the Assembly in the form of a Bill and cleared by the then Governor Banwarilal Purohit in October.

After the DMK took over in May this year, it got a Bill through the House to repeal the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2019, the subject of which was covered in another Central law. Enquiries reveal that Governor R.N. Ravi’s assent is awaited for the repeal Bill.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 12:43:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/decks-cleared-for-tn-farm-law/article37590582.ece

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