JAIPUR: Forcing a farmer to enter a contract of sale of his agricultural produce at a price below the minimum support price (MSP) may lead to imprisonment for three to seven years and/or a fine up to Rs 5 lakh, says one of the six amendment bills tabled in the Rajasthan assembly on Saturday.
‘Harassing’ farmers may also invoke the same punitive action, says another bill. It defines harassment as traders not accepting delivery of farm produce agreed upon or not making payment within three days from the date of receipt of delivery.
Rajasthan’s amendment bills do not make MSP mandatory for purchases made by individuals or brokers outside contract farming. However, it will be mandatory for contract farming. “That is outside the state’s purview. Only the Centre can make MSP mandatory,” said Congress state president and cabinet minister Govind Singh Dotasra. Punjab, on the other hand, made MSP mandatory for the sale and purchase of wheat and paddy recently.
Four of the six amendment bills tabled in Rajasthan assembly are related to farmers and seek to ‘override’ the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September. The amendment bills are likely to be passed on Monday.
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