Chandigarh, September 23, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiormani Akali Dal president Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder SIngh to immediately declare the entire state of Punjab a “PRINCIPAL MARKET YARD” for agricultural produce so that the center’s latest Acts on agricultural marketing do not apply in the state.
“This is the best, the quickest and the most effective way for Punjab to pre-empt the application of the center’s latest anti-farmer Act in the state because the center’s acts do not and will not apply to “principal market yards” declared by any state government. Therefore, Punjab government must act without delay,” said Mr Badal in a strongly worded statement here this afternoon.
Mr Badal said that the state government has the power to notify the whole state as a “PRINCIPAL MARKET YARD, SUB-MARKET YARD AND MARKET SUB-YARDS.” The provisions of the present Acts by the center exempt these yards or marked areas from the jurisdiction of the legislation.
Thus, if the Punjab government declares the whole state”a PRINCIPAL MARKET YARD” the center’s Act will automatically be rendered infructuous in the state and will not apply in any part of the state. As a result, private players who enter the market will have to compete under the same set of alws as applicable to state procurement,” said the SAD president.
Mr Badal said that in the event of the failure of Captain Singh to revoke these amendments, “the SAD will revoke these in the first cabinet meeting when we form a government in the state.” He said that if necessary, section 7-A of the APMC ACT through an Ordinance or by calling a special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
Mr Badal’s proposal comes after his party had asked the President not to sign the three Agricultural Bills in question. The president’s response is still awaited but the SAD wants to pre-empt the application of the dreaded provisions of these Acts before they come into force.
“We want Amarinder to do it immediately in order to avoid the likelihood of any technical or legal hitches once the Acts come into force. There is no time to waste,” said the Akali supremo.
Mr Badal also declared that the SAD will never allow these Acts to apply to Punjab, “no matter what steps we have to take or what price we have to pay. If Captain Amarinder Singh does not do it today, he would be exposing the Punjab farmers to exploitation by private corporate sharks.
He must do it preferably today itself, so that the center does not get an opportunity to enforce these new laws in Punjab by inserting a sub section to ensure retrospective effect ,” said Mr Badal.
The SAD president declared that if Captain Singh doesn’t did not listen to his party’s and farmers’ pleas now, then the SAD will take these steps the first thing when we form the government,” declared Mr Badal.
The Shiromani Akali Dal president also asked the Chief Minister to rescind the amendments which he had brought into the state APMC Act. These amendments have provisions which are identical to the center’s Acts which Captain Singh claims to oppose. “This is a strange situation.
The Chief Minister first implemented the same Acts in his state which he now claims to oppose in the central legislation. The only difference between the provisions of the Punjab Act of Captain SIngh and those of the center’s Act is that the Acts passed by the Parliament are applicable throughout the country while Amarinder’s APMC Act amendments apply only in his state.
And that is an extremely unfortunate situation for Punjab. The Congress government in the state needs to to come clean on this suicidal contradiction for Punjab and to revoke the amendments enacted by it,” said Mr Badal, adding that if Amarinder refuses to revoke his amendments, “this would show where exactly he stands with regard to the center’s Act.