A BILL to provide for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
1- Indian Agriculture is characterised by fragmentation due to small holdings and has certain weaknesses such as dependence on weather, uncertainties in production and unpredictable market. This makes agriculture risky and inefficient in respect of both input and output management. These challenges needed to be addressed by way of realising higher productivity, cost-effective production and efficient monetisation of the produce to increase the farmers’ income. It was felt that promotion of agreements for farming produce may strengthen the process of monetisation whose primary objective is to de-risk agriculture at various stages, enable scaling of investment by industry for production and processing of high-value agriculture produces, give fillip to exports and help farmers to enjoy the additional benefits of operational efficiency.
2. The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown also threw up challenges for agriculture and impacted the livelihood of farmers. As agriculture sector has immense potential to make significant contribution to the economic growth, there was a need to find long term solutions for farmers and for agriculture as a whole. Therefore, to achieve these objectives and to mitigate risks for farmers, enhance their income, put in place an effective and conducive policy regime for agreements and for holistic development of the agriculture sector, there was a need for immediate legislation.
3. As the Parliament was not in session and there was an immediate need for legislation in this regard, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated by the President of India on the 5th June, 2020 under clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution.
4. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 which seeks to replace the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 (Ord. 11 of 2020) provides for—
(a) facilitating written farming agreement to be entered into in respect of a farming produce, except where such agreement derogates the rights of a sharecropper;
(b) the conditions for performance of farming agreement, including compliance with mutually acceptable quality, grade and standards of farming produce;
(c) the pricing of farming produce;
(d) the manner of delivery of farming produce;
(e) exempting the farming produce under a farming agreement from the application of a State Act regulating the sale and purchase of such farming produce and also from the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955) and the control orders made thereunder;
(f) prohibiting the Sponsor from acquiring ownership rights or making permanent modification on farmers’ land or premises;
(g) the Sponsor to ensure timely acceptance of delivery and payment for such farming produce;
(h) linkage of farming agreement with insurance or credit instrument;
(i) establishment of Registration Authority to provide for e-registry and for registration of farming agreements;
(j) conciliation and dispute settlement mechanism for settlement of disputes under the farming agreement.
5. The Bill seeks to replace the aforesaid Ordinance.
The 26th August, 2020.
NARENDRA SINGH TOMAR.
Bill No. 112 of 2020
THE FARMERS (EMPOWERMENT AND PROTECTION)AGREEMENT ON PRICE ASSURANCE AND FARM SERVICES BILL, 2020
1. Short title and commencement.
3. Farming agreement and its period.
4. Quality, grade and standards of farming produce.
5. Pricing of farming produce.
6. Sale or purchase of farming produce.
7. Exemptions with respect to farming produce.
8. Sponsor prohibited from acquiring ownership rights or making permanent modifications on farmer’s land or premises.
9. Linkage of farming agreement with insurance or credit.
10. Other parties to farming agreement.
11. Alteration or termination of farming agreement.
12. Establishment of Registration Authority.
13. Conciliation board for dispute settlement.
14. Mechanism for dispute resolution.
15. No action for recovery of dues against farmer’s land.
16. Power of Central Government to give directions.
17. Authorities under Act to be public servants.
18. Protection of action taken in good faith.
19. Bar of jurisdiction of civil court.
20. Act to have an overriding effect.
21. Act not to apply to stock exchanges and clearing corporations.
22. Power of Central Government to make rules.
23. Power of State Government to make rules.
24. Power to remove difficulties.
25. Repeal and savings.
Read the whole Bill 2020
Categories: CENTRAL ACTS