Punjab Chief Minister

Punjab Assembly Passes Resolution Against Farm Acts

Punjab Chief Minister

Punjab Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution rejecting three farm laws enacted by the central government as also the proposed Electricity Amendment Bill with the Chief Minister later leading a delegation to the Governor VP Singh Badnore urging him to give his assent to three bills passed by the assembly.

Punjab is the first state to reject the three farm laws which were enacted after passage of relevant bills in the monsoon session of parliament last month.

The assembly passed three bills “unanimously” to “protect MSP and check hoarding of foodgrains”.

The House also passed by voice vote an amendment to CrPC for exempting farmers from the attachment of land up to 2.5 acres.

An official release later said that all MLAs unanimously voted in favour of the resolution and the bills, except the two BJP members who were absent from the House during the special session of the Vidhan Sabha.

The Chief Minister informed the House that he had sought time from the President of India to raise Punjab’s concerns on the farm laws and seek his intervention to protect the farmers.

He later met Governor VPS Badnore along with MLAs across parties to submit resolution passed by the House and seek his assent for the bills.

“Met Governor Punjab along with all Members of the Vidhan Sabha present in the House today to collectively urge upon him to accord his assent at the earliest to the Bills passed by the House. Also presented him the Resolution passed unanimously by the House,” the Chief Minister said in a tweet.

He told the media that the central nills have become an Act at the Parliament “but Vidhan Sabha unanimously rejected those Acts”.

“We have adopted a resolution and have come here together,” Capt Amarinder Singh said.

He said the resolution first goes to Governor, then to President. “If it does not happen then we have legal methods too. I hope the Governor approves it because it is unanimous. I have also sought an appointment from the President of India between November 2 to 5. Entire Vidhan Sabha will go to him,” he said.

Thanking all members for passing supporting the resolution, the Chief Minister said this will send a positive message to the farmers. He assured all support to the farmers and vowed not to let Punjab’s peaceful atmosphere be vitiated at any cost.

He again urged farmer unions to allow movement of trains for the transportation of coal, urea and foodgrains, pointing out that the state government had already lost Rs 40,000 crores in revenue due to “rail roko” agitation.

Industry and business was as much the responsibility of the state government as was agriculture, he said, adding that the farmers’ fight was against Delhi, not against Punjab. He expressed the hope that the farmer organisations will heed his appeal.

The Chief Minister, who presented his government’s four bills on the second day of the special session of the House, Singh said that he was prepared to “resign or be dismissed rather than bow to injustice towards Punjab’s farmers”.

Earlier, responding to a suggestion from Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema, on MSP guarantee by the state government, the Chief Minister asked the AAP leader if he had any idea about the financial implications of such a move. In any case, where would the state sell the produce even if it purchased the same, he added, terming the suggestion as impractical.

Replying to questions raised by SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia on the future of the state amendment Bills, Captain Amarinder said he had already made it clear that the Bills would have to go to the Governor who may or may not approve them. Thereafter, they would also need to go to the President of India, who may also approve or reject them.

However, he asserted that, as in the case of the Punjab Termination of Water Agreements Act, the state government will continue to fight the central laws legally, for which a team of lawyers and experts was on board.

A state government release said that the assembly passed Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020.

It said the bills were passed to “to protect the state’s farmers and agriculture by restoring various safeguards aimed at preventing damage apprehended by the farming community as a result of the central legislations”.

“Besides ensuring MSP, with punishment in case of sale/purchase in case of violations, the legislations provide for prevention of hoarding and black-marketing of foodgrains,” it said.

“The Code of Civil Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020 provides relief to farmers against attachment of land up to 2.5 acres, in line with the Congress government’s election promise,” the release said.

The House will resume its proceedings tomorrow. (ANI)

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