Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 18
Punjab Assembly session scheduled to begin on October 19 will now last for two days instead of one, officials sources said on Sunday.
A decision to extend the session to two days will be formally taken at a business advisory committee meeting scheduled for Monday.
Official sources said one day in the two-day session will be reserved for debate on the controversial farm Bills that the Congress state government under Chief Minister Amarinder Singh proposes to have passed in the assembly.
The farm Bills are intended to counteract the controversial farm laws that the Parliament passed last month. The three central laws—The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020—have since drawn protests from farmers across the country but mainly from the agrarian states of Punjab and Haryana. Of particular concern for farmers
The laws replaced three ordinances similarly named that the Cabinet had approved of in June.
Farmers and civil rights organisations have been holding protests against the three laws since last month. Of particular concern was The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, which they see as a step to dismantle the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) system. Farmers see this measure as a process to do away with the minimum support price (MSP), a policy under which farmers are assured a minimum return for their produce regardless of the market fluctuations. Critics say that while the APMC system could do with some reforms, the laws could weaken the system and leave farmers open to exploitation.