Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to repeal the three controversial farm laws have received mixed response from various stakeholders in the agriculture sector. While most of them consider Modi’s decision to be prudent, not everyone considers the laws to be faulty.
“The step was the need of the hour. While the laws were progressive and had the potential to bring new changes in terms of channels and increase transparency in the trade ecosystem, the implementation was not up to the mark,” says Ankit Chauhan, CTO and co-founder of agri-tech start-up InfyU LABS. “If the three repealed laws were implemented, it could have brought new channels of trading for farmers, and start-ups like InfyU Labs could have helped such an ecosystem to be more transparent, providing better returns directly to farmers. However, we will now try to provide benefits to farmers by working with APMCs,” adds Chauhan.
Kalyan Goswami, director-general, Agro Chem Federation of India (ACFI), says the industry whole heartedly welcomes the government’s decision as it will help break the ongoing impasse. “We also appreciate the prime minister for his commitment to provide good quality seeds to farmers, easy claims for damages and offering the right price to farmers for their produce. While the budget allocation on agriculture has increased 5 times since 2014, we expect the financial situation of farmers to improve steadily,” says Goswami.
RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) also welcomed the PM’s decision as it ends the controversies around them. “We at Swadeshi Jagran Manch firmly believe that the intent of the farm laws was good. However, we concur with the prime minister that the government was not able to convince the agitating farmers about the benefits of the laws. We also appreciate the initiatives taken by the government towards improving the conditions of farming and farmers in the country, including increasing the minimum support price [MSP] to cost plus 50% and bringing more agriculture items under MSP arrangement, apart from opening new avenues of marketing of agriculture produce through electronic channels and other steps taken by the government towards improving the condition of farmers,” says Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convenor, SJM.
Legal professional Satya Muley adds that though the three farm laws have only been enacted but not implemented, the government will have to undergo the repealing process in Parliament and will finally require the President’s approval. “The government has an option to either bring a bill in Parliament to repeal the farm laws, or promulgate an Ordinance which will then have to be subsequently replaced by a bill to that effect within six months. The process of repealing is the same as enacting a law under the Constitution of India,” he explains.