“Existing laws have enslaved Indian farmer to rent seekers,” says India’s annual economic survey

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“Existing laws have enslaved Indian farmer to rent seekers,” says India’s annual economic survey
Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy SubramanianBCCL
India’s annual economic survey authored by the Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian has come out with a resounding support for the Narendra Modi government’s new farm laws, which have triggered massive, and occasionally violent, protests from farmers in Punjab and Haryana.

“Existing laws kept the Indian farmer enslaved to the local Mandi and their rent-seeking intermediaries. While every other category of producer in India had the freedom to decide,” said the document released around the time the tensions escalated at the Singhu border between the states of Haryana and the national capital.

“Existing laws have enslaved Indian farmer to rent seekers,” says India’s annual economic survey
BCCL

“The reforms in agriculture markets will enable creation of ‘One India one market’ for agri-products, create innumerable opportunities for farmers to move up the value chain in food processing - from farm to fork, create jobs and increase incomes,” it added.
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Farmers are protesting three new laws passed by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre in New Delhi. The idea behind the three laws is to liberalise agriculture whereas the farmers, particularly those from Punjab, fear that they will lose the assurance of their produce will be bought by the government at a set price⁠— something they have enjoyed for decades.

The other big fear, across the country, is the dependence on corporates because the new laws may kill the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), a regulatory body that is in charge of building and managing a dedicated marketplace where farmers can come and sell their produce.

While the government has agreed to put the proposed reforms on hold for a year and a half, the protests have only escalated. Aside from seeking that the government completely repeal the law, farmer leaders have gone on record to say that they can settle if the law mandates that private players, too, will have to pay the minimum support price.
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The debate seems far from over.

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