Congress attacks Centre over farm laws

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh stepped up their attack on the Central government over the recently enacted farm laws on Saturday. They stated that the laws are an attack on every farmer and that such legislation “weaken” the country’s foundation.

Here are five components of the story:

  • Referring to his “tractor rallies” against the laws during his recent visit to Punjab and Haryana, Rahul Gandhi said, “I came to Punjab and Haryana a few days ago and every farmer and labourer knows that these three farm laws are an attack on them.”
  • Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government over the farm laws, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, according to an official statement, said: “Whatever time I have left with me, I will fight for the farmers and every other section of the state’s people.”
  • According to a press statement from Punjab chief minister’s Office (CMO) on Saturday,

“Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday joined Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in pledging to force the Union Government to revoke the draconian Farm Laws, which they said will be debated in the special session of the Vidhan Sabha on Monday with the aim to aggressively and effectively combat the damaging impact of the legislations on farmers.”

  • In Punjab and Haryana, the epicentre of the protests, the market fee, rural development fee, and arhatiya’s commission are 3%, 3%, and 2.5%; and 2%, 2%, and 2.5% respectively. These are big sources of state revenue — with states not permitted to levy market fee/cess outside APMC areas under the new laws, Punjab and Haryana could lose an estimated Rs 3,500 crore and Rs 1,600 crore each year respectively.
  • However, according to the Central government, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 liberates farmers by giving them the freedom to sell anywhere.
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