NEW DELHI: The farmers protesting along the borders of the national capital are not just demanding withdrawal of the new agricultural laws implemented by the Central government but also relaxations over penalties associated with stubble burning, including others.
The farmers also want withdrawal of the Electricity Bill Amendment Bill 2020.
Though the list of the demands of farmers is quite long, five of them are deemed as important.
The first and foremost demand of the protesting farmers organisations is the repeal of three new agricultural laws.
The three new agricultural laws include the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Simplification) Act 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agreement on Agricultural Services Act 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. Farmers organisations say that these laws will benefit the corporate, but not the farmers. However, the government claims that farmers will benefit from these three laws and the agriculture sector will grow.
The second demand of farmers is the guarantee of MSP to ensure procurement of crops at minimum support price (MSP). Farmers organisations want a guarantee of MSP from the central government. However, the government has assured to continue procurement on MSP and is also presenting an example of the record procurement of other crops, including wheat and rice during the tenure of the current government.
The third demand of farmers is the withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, as they feel that they wont get free electricity due to this.
Harendra Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal), told IANS that farmers in Punjab get free electricity, but the same wont happen if power distribution is privatised.
The farmers fourth demand is to end the fine and jail sentence for stubble burning.
Harendra Singh said that a provision of five year-jail sentence and Rs one crore fine has been made for stubble burning. The farmers are demanding that it should be withdrawn. They are demanding the withdrawal of cases filed against farmers for burning stubble.
In addition, they also are demanding MSP as recommended by Swaminathan Commission.