Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Farm Laws – No Consultation?




Farm Laws – No Consultation?

Dr T H Chowdary*


A G. Noorani’s article , “ Farm Bills, Govt Needs To  Consult Up And Cultivators”  written  for  DAWN, the Muslim League’s English daily in Pakistan   is reproduced  in the Deccan Chronicle of  Hyderabad  in the edit page of  14/12/20.  Sri Noorani  is a columnist  for the  Muslim League’s daily DAWN in Pakistan. He writes for Pakistani readers .  The Deccan Chronicle  is in some way  solicitous  of this columnist  of  DAWN of Pakistan.  Sri Noorani is very well known for his  visceral  antipathy to anything that bodes well to Hindustan / India.  In the article under reference  there are  his  pompous platitudes about  democracy, consultation with opposition parties and farmers and so on.   Why he has to write for a farmer’s issue in India in a Pakistani daily  speaks volumes of his   Pakisaniat  DNA  propounded by Dr B R Ambedkar in his famous book, Pakistan or India  Divided .


2. Now let us see what is the  truth or falsehood in Sri Noorani’s  piece on India’s farm bills.  His assertion  that there has not been consultation with  opposition parties and even  parliament  and cultivators,  is a total lie. Here are the  facts of two decades long consultation  with the public as well as  with Members of Parliament and the NDA and the UPA governments . 

·          The NDA government  appointed an expert committee in Dec 2000 under the chairmanship of  Shankarlal Guru  to review  and recommend measures to make agriculture marketing system more efficient and competitive.   The Report  of the expert committee to strengthen and development of agriculture  marketing  2001 said, “ the institution of regulated market has however achieved a limited success.  Over a period of time , these markets  have however acquired the status of  restrictive and  regulated  markets  providing no help  in direct free marketing.



·         The UPA government  followed up with the States to adopt the model 2004  APMC law and even framed new rules and  regulations in 2007 .

·         A National Commission on Agriculture chaired by noted and respected scientist M. S Swaminathan submitted its report in 2006. He recommended promotion of unified national  market .

·         In March 2010,  Sri Sarad Pawar, Agriculture  Minister in the UPA government constituted an Empowered Committee under the Chairmanship  of the Agriculture  Minister of  the Government  of Maharashtra and 10 State  Ministers of Agriculture as members.  The Committee submitted  its report in 2013; suggested simplification of procedures  of contract farming barriers free national markets, waiving off of  market fee on fruits and vegetable  ….Its recommendations included  removing of the  existing physical legal and statutory barriers for the  marketing of agricultural produce. It recommended a Central Legislation to deal with inter-state agricultural marketing, promoting of agri-business,  trade and commerce at the national level .

·         The NDA govt in 2014  constituted the  Dalwai Committee to formulate  a model Act  with members  from the states of Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan, Telangana  and UP  . The Committee after extensive consultation recommended adoption of the Model APLM Act 2017 in April 2017.  The TMC govt of w West Bengal  adopted this model Act in 2017. So did the Congress government in Punjab and  governments  in UP, Arunachal Pradesh and Haryana

·         To protect the interest of  the farmers in  contract farming, a second Dalwai Committee was set up which had representation from  the states of Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha , Karnataka and MP .

3. It is in the light of the    Public Consultation, Expert Committees’ reports procured by the NDA and  UPA governments, the present three farm laws were enacted. In the light of this fact of  two decade-long  consultation at   different levels under the auspices of different  party governments  at the Center and in the States, these laws are  made and promulgated. All these  facts  have been   obviously purposely not mentioned by Sri A G Noorani, the columnist for a Pakistani daily and reproduced by an Indian  daily, the  Deccan Chronicle. The author and  the newspaper that  entertained this article  indicate what they  stand for  -  anything that can  promote ill will  to nationalist parties like the  BJP  in the country. (674 words)