Date: 20th January, 2021
by Upamanyu Ganguly, ILS Law College, Pune
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (‘The Act’) is an act passed by the Government of India with the intention to open up the market and broaden the scope of the farmers’ market, so that the produce can be sold at better prices by creating a competitive marked for farm produce. The act also facilitates inter-state sale of farm produce and to facilitate online sales of farm produce.
PROVISIONS OF THE ACT
The salient provisions of The Act are as follows-
In Chapter two of The Act, Section 3 provides for the freedom of farmers or traders of e-commerce platforms to indulge in any inter-State or intra-State trading.
Section 4 makes it a requirement for farmer producers, organisations and co-operative societies to be able to trade only if they have a permanent account number registered under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Section 6 prohibits State Governments from levying taxes on traders, regardless of the provisions of any State APMC Act.
Section 14 makes it clear that this Act will be given more authority over any State APMC acts.
The intention of the act itself is not malicious, but certain provisions make it contentious at the least. From a consumer standpoint, as the competition that will be created will also have an impact on prices, opening up to corporations will be advantageous in the domain of access to better quality of material, and inputs. But corporations aren't really known for their benevolence, and it is very likely that there may end up being abuse of labour, but things can be slightly more ideal if corporations coming in the scene are also strictly regulated.
Along with the above, the state cannot levy taxes or any form of fees in cases of the new methods of sale, such as e-commerce, inter-State sales and the likes. It is however, quite evident Mandi system may die out, and that has a lot of people working in it, and the middle man will either be completely removed or will switch to corporations and the private sector in general, and along with that, the private sector has enough resources to buy out small farmers' lands to form an amalgamation of small lands to create a larger output which plays in with the profit motive.