JAIPUR: Rajasthan became the third state in the country after Punjab and Chhattisgarh to counter Centre’s farm laws when its assembly passed four amendment bills, which among other things, make minimum support price (MSP) mandatory for contract farming. All three states are governed by Congress.
The bills, which were passed amid a walkout by BJP members, also provide for imprisonment for a trader for up to seven years if s/he forces a farmer into a contract to farm for a produce at below-MSP rates.
While the bills make MSP mandatory for contract farming, the same is not applicable for sale/purchase made in mandis. Also the bills have reintroduced taxes on mandis and empowered the government to impose stock limits to check black-marketing besides providing for a jail of three to seven years and fine up to Rs 5 lakh for harassing farmers. The bills bar banks from attaching lands of farmers who have a holding up to five acres.
Referring to the proposed amendment in section 60 of the Code of Civil Procedure Act, 1908, which bars banks from attaching a farmer’s land, BJP legislator Ramlal Sharma said, “Will the banks now give loans to farmers with land up to 5-acre after knowing well that such farmers’ lands can no longer be attached for defaulting on repaying loans? Should not the government have provisioned that banks cannot deny loans to farmers with 5-acre land?”