On Thursday, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said that his government will move the Supreme Court if the bills passed by the state Assembly do not receive presidential assent. The Punjab Assemby passed a bill against the three central farm laws last month.
“Unfortunately, the governor is still sitting on instead of forwarding them for presidential approval, even though the Vidhan Sabha had unanimously passed the bills, with all parties voting for them,” said Singh.
The Centre should scrap the three farm laws, sit with the farmers and make new legislations in their place, the chief minister said while addressing mediapersons on completion of four years of his government.
“I fail to understand why the central government is trying to break the age-old time-tested relationship between farmers and arhtiyas,” Singh said adding that the new laws are not an improvement on the existing system and will destroy the farming sector.
Ahrtiyas are commissioning agents who help farmers sell their crops to buyers. Ahrtiyas facilitate the transaction between farmers and buyers – the buyers can be a person, a firm or a company or a cooperative society or a government agency or even to a public undertaking agency, a public agency or a corporation – and receive a commission for facilitating the transaction following which they pay farmers money for their crops.
Punjab became the first state in the country to pass four bills and a resolution against the central laws in October last year. The Amarinder Singh government said that these amendments will safeguard the interests of the state’s farmers, who are concerned that the central legislation would deprive them of government-fixed minimum support prices (MSPs) for their produce and put them at the mercy of big corporate houses.
Since the state laws are in conflict with the central laws, which have been signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, they would require presidential assent to be enacted.
In February this year, Singh said that his government will bring the amendment bills to negate the Centre’s three farm laws again in the Vidhan Sabha since the governor failed to send the earlier Bills to President Ram Nath Kovind.
Earlier this month, the Congress government in Punjab passed a resolution during the budget session of the state assembly, demanding withdrawal of three farms laws unconditionally by the Centre.