PIB News 20th Sep, 2020


 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Parliament passes The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
Full protection has been ensured to farmers in these legislations; Hon’ble PM has himself assured that procurement at MSP will continue - Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar

Parliament today passed two bills aimed at transforming agriculture in the country and raising farmers’ incomes. The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 which were passed by Lok Sabha on 17th September 2020, were passed by the Rajya Sabha also today. The Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha on 14th September 2020 by Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, to replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June 2020.

Speaking about the Bills, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has taken several landmark decisions in last six years to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices for their produce, and for raising farmers’ incomes and livelihood status. He again clarified that the procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue, assurance for this has been given by Hon’ble Prime Minister himself, rate of MSP has been increased considerably during 2014-2020 and MSP for coming Rabi season will be announced in coming week. The Union Agriculture Minister said that full protection has been ensured to farmers in these legislations.

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020

Main provisions –

  • The new legislation will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce.
  • It will also promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations.
  • The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce and will not have to bear transport costs.
  • The Bill also proposes an electronic trading in transaction platform for ensuring a seamless trade electronically.
  • In addition to mandis, freedom to do trading at farmgate, cold storage, warehouse, processing units etc.
  • Farmers will be able to engage in direct marketing thereby eliminating intermediaries resulting in full realization of price.

Doubts –

  • Procurement at Minimum Support Price will stop
  • If farm produce is sold outside APMC mandis, these will stop functioning
  • What will be the future of government electronic trading portal like e-NAM

Clarification –

  • Procurement at Minimum Support Price will continue, farmers can sell their produce at MSP rates, the MSP for Rabi season will be announced next week
  • Mandis will not stop functioning, trading will continue here as before. Under the new system, farmers will have the option to sell their produce at other places in addition to the mandis
  • The e-NAM trading system will also continue in the mandis
  • Trading in farm produce will increase on electronic platforms. It will result in greater transparency and time saving

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020

Main provisions –

  • The new legislation will empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters etc., on a level playing field. Price assurance to farmers even before sowing of crops. In case of higher market price, farmers will be entitled to this price over and above the minimum price.
  • It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor. Due to prior price determination, farmers will be shielded from the rise and fall of market prices.
  • It will also enable the farmer to access modern technology, better seed and other inputs.
  • It will reduce cost of marketing and improve income of farmers.
  • Effective dispute resolution mechanism has been provided for with clear time lines for redressal.
  • Impetus to research and new technology in agriculture sector.

Doubts –

  • Under contract farming, farmers will be under pressure and they will not be able to determine prices
  • How will small farmers be able to practice contract farming, sponsors will shy away from them
  • The new system will be a problem for farmers
  • In case of dispute, big companies will be at an advantage

Clarification –

  • The farmer will have full power in the contract to fix a sale price of his choice for the produce. They will receive payment within maximum 3 days.
  • 10000 Farmer Producer organizations are being formed throughout the country. These FPOs will bring together small farmers and work to ensure remunerative pricing for farm produce
  • After signing contract, farmer will not have seek out traders. The purchasing consumer will pick up the produce directly from the farm
  • In case of dispute, there will be no need to go to court repeatedly. There will be local dispute redressal mechanism.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Application for Domicile for J&K
As per the information provided by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, a total of 21,13,879 persons have applied for Domicile Certificates.

Rule 5 of the J&K Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020 mandates certain documents which are to be annexed with the application. Those applications which lack the prescribed documents are rejected. A total of 1,21,630 applications have been rejected so far for not annexing prescribed documents with the application.

Jammu and Kashmir Administration has issued 16,79,520 domiciles.

A wide range of measures were undertaken by the Government of India for the relief and rehabilitation of the migrants of East Pakistan, which include the following:

i)          Relief camps were opened by the Government to provide food, shelter and other facilities to the migrants.  Rehabilitation assistance was also extended to the non-camp migrants.

ii)         Agriculturists’ families were provided land/loans for purchase of land and agricultural implements etc. Non agriculturists’ families were granted loans for taking up business, small trade and professional occupations.

iii)        A number of vocational and training schemes were introduced.

iv)        Facilities were offered to the displaced persons and private industrialists to set up industries for expanding employment facilities for the displaced persons.

As per the Registration records maintained with the Provincial Rehabilitation Officer (PRO), Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), a total of 6,565 families were registered as displaced families from Chhamb Niabat area during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. For the displaced families of 1971, agricultural land at the rate of 4 acres (irrigated) or 6 acres (un-irrigated) was allotted. A cash compensation of Rs. 7,500/- per family was also paid. The entire process of rehabilitation of displaced families was overseen by Chhamb Displaced Persons Rehabilitation Authority (CDPRA).

Due to the Indo-Pak war of 1947, a total of 31,619 families got displaced from the Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK), out of which 26,319 families got registered and settled in the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir. A total of 5,300 families who were initially registered with the PRO, J&K subsequently moved to other parts of the country. 

 For the displaced families of 1947 which stayed in J&K, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir had allotted agricultural land ranging from 4-8 acres per family. Those who settled in urban areas were provided plots/quarters besides cash ex-gratia of Rs. 3500/- per family.  For those families which did not get land allotted as per prescribed scales, cash compensation was sanctioned by Government of India in lieu of land deficiency.  Others were allotted land /plot/quarter as per fixed scale for their rehabilitation. The displaced families which did not settle in Jammu & Kashmir were paid an ex-gratia of Rs. 3500/- per family at the time of their registration.

In order to mitigate the hardships of the displaced families of PoJK and Chhamb, the Government of India under the Prime Minister’s Development Package-2015, approved a rehabilitation package with an outlay of Rs. 2000 crores on 22nd December, 2016. Under the package, one-time financial assistance of Rs. 5.5 lakhs per family (Central share is Rs.5,49,692/- and the State share is  Rs. 308/-) is provided to the displaced families.

In September, 2019, the Government of India further approved the inclusion of those displaced families of PoJK, out of 5,300 families, who  initially  moved  out of Jammu and Kashmir, but later on returned and settled in Jammu and Kashmir. Such families are also eligible for one-time financial assistance of Rs. 5.5 lakh per family.

As per the information provided by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, no Kashmiri Hindu families have migrated from J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A.

Kashmiri Pandits have been issued Domiciles under new rules. It is a continuous process.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha today.


 










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