Two laws – APMC (Amendment) Act and the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Act – were passed in Karnataka in line with the Union government’s legislation.

news Law Sunday, November 21, 2021 - 18:36

Asking the BJP government in Karnataka to take a cue from the Narendra Modi government, which has decided to repeal the farm laws, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday, November 20 demanded that the state immediately repeal the APMC (Amendment) Act and the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, introduced last year.

“The state government was also party to the three black laws thrust upon the farmers by the Narendra Modi government, which has now repealed the three laws and washed away its sins. Now it is the turn of the BJP government in the state (sic),” Siddaramaiah told reporters.

The two laws were introduced last year by the BJP government amid protest by the opposition Congress. Siddaramaiah, the leader of the Opposition, alleged that the intention behind introducing the APMC Amendment Act was to open the doors to private players to directly approach growers bypassing the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC).

“If the APMC (Amendment) Act comes into effect, the state government will not have any control over the traders and it cannot monitor their activities. It cannot collect duty, fees and levy. It’s like complete surrender,” the Congress leader said.

Following the Union government’s decision to repeal the farm laws, the state government is in a dilemma now. The state Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy expressed surprise at the Union government’s decision. The laws passed in the state were in line with the legislation introduced by the Union government.

The APMC (Amendment) Act was opposed by farmers in Karnataka as it allowed private players to purchase agricultural commodities from farmers. This, farmers said, would pave the way for large corporations to dictate cropping patterns and prices.

Meanwhile, a major change in the Land Reforms Act allowed people other than agriculturists to purchase farm land. Farmers in Karnataka protested the decision to introduce the Act. Here too, farmers believe that large corporations would be able to buy agricultural land. Farmers fear that they will be coerced and threatened to give up their land.

According to Siddaramaiah, only 6% of farmers are availing the benefits of APMC while the remaining 94% are not using it. He demanded that the state government set up APMCs in various places so that farmers can benefit from it.

Activists have also campaigned against the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020 introduced by the state government last year.

With PTI inputs

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