I am writing to inform you about the three problematic farm acts that have been approved by the Indian central government on the 27th September 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Promotion and Facilitation Act, the Farmers Empowerment and Protection Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities Amendment Act. Over the last few months there have been mass protests against the agricultural legal ordinances passed by the government, particularly in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. These protests have now moved to the capital of Delhi in order for their voice to be heard.
The legislation has been described by many as discriminatory, placing the interest of capitalists and corporations above those of everyday farmers and has been rejected by over 30 farmer unions across the agricultural state of Punjab. The main concern pertaining to the new legislation lies with the abolishment of MSP (Minimum Support Price) which gave farmers some assurance that their crop would be procured at a minimum price. These new reforms take away the safety net of MSP and give power to corporations to dictate crop prices and further unsettle the already fragile relationship between farmers and the market.
As Punjab is an agricultural state and is therefore likely to be impacted by the reforms to a greater extent, many members of the Punjabi diaspora living in the UK are justifiably worried about the political, economic and social ramifications of the new legislation on the state and its people. I find this issue deeply unsettling and wanted to write to you to express my support for any work that can be done to ramp up Great Britain’s response to the legislation that has been passed in India.
I hope you take some time to take a look into this issue. For more information, you can visit www.savingpunjab.org.
I look forward to hearing from you.