Post Mortem

How Farm Bills will footprint the consumers

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/10/2020 12:19:41 PM IST

 The contentious Farmers Bill 2020 recently passed by both the parliament includes the following character, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020,Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement and Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities Act 2020. This Bill was enacted to create a sense of self monopoly whereby each farmers will have their prerogatives and sell their churn out items without involving any third party as the negotiators. The Government of India considers this bill as pro farmers and highly perceives it could double the income of the farmers as prescribed in the double income of the farmers 2022. Theoretically the bill looks famously promising and highly feasible which could enhance the farmers’ woes. But the technical exertion could route the other way round. The farmers enthusiastically started protesting against the bill on the account of the aforementioned clauses. The farmers believe it will saliva injustice and hence do away with APMC (Mandis) and the famed MSP (minimum support price) regulated by the Government of India and instead form a draconian arena where the benefit will solely be focused in the hands of the capitalism. This will initially generate a form of Marxian era where the farmers will replicate the so called ‘have-nots’ ie workers who were exploited inadvertently by the “haves” the capitalist posh. 

The protest has escalated intensively especially in northern states with Punjab and Haryana as the front runners. They have clamoured for a change in the aforementioned clauses and instead implored to strengthen MSP to be officially declared as a legal right so as to bump off the capitalist exploitation of power bargaining. The farmers also fear that they will have teeny-weeny scope in contracts with the private buyers. With more than 85 percent of farmers owning less than two hectares of land it becomes ultimately laborious for them to negotiate with the large scale buyers at first hand. 

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 which seeks to deregulate commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities will infact pose a grave potential danger to the market force and it can accidentally impact the consumers. The price triggered formula as postulated will infact create a situation of a drowning man who glimpse powerless to reach the sea shore. With these items being kept in liberalised mode for a lengthy time span and without any scrutiny will doggedly elevate the rise in price and impact the consumers. 

The jump up in prices of this significant item will boost the inflation as consumers will not be able to afford it with ease. The incessant stocking can also lead to counterfeit price fluctuations and meagre prices for farmers after harvest. The infamous hoarding will take place as food particles can be stored for longer duration without the fear of being prosecuted. This will also elevate price upsurge as storage of such items for a prolonged period will maneuver the man’s conceived minds more consistent as a cunning fox by advancing the price of such items when scarcity booms to gain enormous profit as those items are a necessity with price rise or fall. With APMC restrained ,the farmers will now have to deal or bear the expenses of the transportation or the labour cost which will coincidentally unsolicit their income and likewise boost the price rise in the market. The ongoing protest will also impact the market force with high chances of price rise in almost all the commodities due to supply constraint. In a state like Nagaland where we are exponentially depended on the outside factor for the survival. The embargo and the price rise of such items will impact the consumers most as shortage of supply or price rise will affect our states economy. With APMC absent, it will also have an indirect impact on our state revenue as taxes charged at mandis will pause as private investors will start purchashing face to face from the farmers. With small and marginal farmers at galore prevalent in our state, APMC vocals a better window of opportunity and a sustainable environment and hence provides utmost security.

In order to evade the relentless protest organised by the farmers fraternity which is more likely to impact the food items consumed by the people in the protracted sprint, the colossal measures needs to be reformed by the government in favour of the farmers with APMC enhancement instead of expunging it. The idea of obliterating the middle man should stand invalid as private investors will also keep the middlemen as the negotiators to deal with the farmers. Instead The negotiators should be kept at check to eschew corrupt practises. The Government should also invest in areas of agriculture importance and revamp the agriculture structure instead of relying on the private investors to do their homework. 

The main purpose of the private entities is to earn profit and they will therefore stoop so low in the initial stage to grab the customers by using artifice method with significantly low price or the discount method for a short span of time. The Government should also declare MSP as the official legal rights of the farmers to avoid victimisation. The onus is now on the government to sweep the board the confidence of the farmers. It must unconditionally stick out to the farmers and empathetically listen to them.       

Tokato K Sumi, 

New Colony, Zunheboto

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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