Farm legal guidelines repeal: Cabinet begins course of, clears Bill, to take up on ‘priority’ in House

The Union Cabinet Wednesday started the method of repealing the three contentious farm legal guidelines in opposition to which farmers have been protesting for a 12 months, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the identical. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill was cleared by the Cabinet and shall be taken up on “priority” foundation within the Winter Session of Parliament, starting subsequent week, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur stated.

Announcing the choice, Thakur stated the federal government had accomplished expeditiously the formalities on the very first Cabinet assembly held after the PM promised to repeal the three legal guidelines — Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

“Today, when the Cabinet met under the able leadership of Prime Minister Modi, we completed the formalities,” Thakur stated. “In the coming session, it will be our priority to repeal the three farm laws.”

He didn’t reply questions on if the federal government will convey a regulation to ensure the Minimum Support Price, which has been one other main demand of the protesting farmers.

The Cabinet additionally authorized the extension until March 2022 of the Prime Minister Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme — beneath which over 80 crore individuals are entitled to free 5 kg foodgrains every per thirty days, wheat or rice, since March 2020.

In the following 4 months, Rs 53,344 crore shall be spent on the scheme, taking the entire to Rs 2.6 lakh crore, Thakur stated. It supplies foodgrains above what beneficiaries who fall beneath the ambit of the National Food Security Act, 2013, and Antyodaya Anna Yojana are entitled to. Initially meant for under three months, the PMGKAY has been prolonged a number of instances since.

Pointing out that the federal government’s focus was to make sure that no household remained hungry in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Thakur stated: “India is the only country in the world which has provided foodgrains to 80 crore people for months. Till now, 600 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains have been allocated and 541 lakh metric tonnes foodgrains have been distributed.”

The Food Ministry has issued instructions to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for the availability of the foodgrains wanted for the PMGKAY, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey stated. The FCI will mobilise extra railway rakes to hold the foodgrains.

Pandey added that round 160 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains could be required within the coming 4 months — 55 per cent of that rice, and the remaining wheat.

In a separate resolution, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Wednesday determined to privatise electrical energy distribution within the Union Territory of Dadra & Nadar Haveli and Daman & Diu, protecting 1.45 lakh customers. An organization (Special Purpose Vehicle) shall be created, and its shares will go to the very best bidder, and trusts shall be shaped for the liabilities of the serving workers, the federal government stated.

It will result in “operational improvements and functional efficiencies in distribution and provide a model for emulation by other utilities across the country”, the federal government stated, including that as competitors turns into extra intense, the facility trade could be strengthened whereas pending dues would fall.