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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley chairs a pre-budget meeting

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Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister , Arun Jaitely (File Photo)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley chaired a pre-budget meeting on Thursday ahead of Budget on February 1.  Finance minister from all the states joined him in the meeting, this is the first budget after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax(GST).

Government’s move of 100 percent FDI in Single Brand Retail and GST are definitely going to affect the 2018 Budget.

More Details Awaited.

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RS passes two agri Bills amid pandemonium

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The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two agriculture-related Bills amid a pandemonium due to protests by opposition members.

The Upper House gave the nod to The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, as opposition MPs continued to shout slogans during their passage. Some lawmakers even staged a walkout in protest.

Earlier, replying to the debate on the Bills, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assured the House that the Minimum Support Price regime will not be scrapped. Some of the amendments moved by the opposition lawmakers were not pressed for voting while those pressed for voting were negated.

The opposition also demanded that the Bills be sent to the Select committee of the Upper House but it was not accepted by the government.

Earlier, the House witnessed unruly scenes when TMC MP Derek O’Brien went near the Chair and tried to snatch a mike while citing from the rule book. When his objections were overruled, an aggressive Derek O’Brien tore the rule book by calling the Bills “Kala Kanoon” or black laws, leading to adjournment of the House for a brief period.

The Trinamool leader was also heard saying: “You cannot do this” to the Chair. At one point in time, the aides of the Deputy Chair, who was conducting the House proceedings, had to come forward to shield him.

Despite repeated requests, many opposition members reached the Well of the House to register their protests.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded that discussion on the Bills be continued on Monday. “To decide this, we should go by the consensus among the members, not by the numbers of the ruling party,” Azad said.

The opposition as well as BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal termed the Bills an “anti-farmers” move by the Centre, with some staging a walkout.

Thousands of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting since the government introduced these Bills in the Lok Sabha on September 14, the opening day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The Bills seek to replace the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on June 5.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide a new ecosystem in which farmers and traders, as per the government, will enjoy freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of their produce and facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter- and intra-state trade and commerce.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, aims to provide a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers.

–IANS

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Rajya Sabha passes controversial Agri Bills amidst protests

A final end date is yet to be fixed, though sources indicated that it could end on Wednesday.

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Farmers Protests Kurukshetra

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Sunday witnessed chaos as the ruling party passed the contentious Agriculture Bills amidst prolonged protests by the Opposition.

The protesting MPs occupied the well and shouted slogans, resulting in the Upper House being adjourned for a brief duration.

The monsoon session of the Parliament, which was scheduled to end on October 1, is likely to be cut short owing to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. A final end date is yet to be fixed, though sources indicated that it could end on Wednesday.

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Security beefed up on Delhi borders over protests by farmers

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Security on the inter-state borders of Delhi was beefed up on Sunday in view of the ongoing protests by farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana against the three Bills related to the agriculture sector, a Delhi Police officer said.

More police personnel have been deployed in the border areas as a precautionary measure, including at Singhu border and GT-Karnal Road.

Farmers from nearby states are expected to arrive in Delhi to mark their protest, since different farmer organisations have given calls for protests over the proposed legislations.

“We are keeping an eye on the borders with Punjab and Haryana; arrangements have been made to stop farmers from entering Delhi,” the senior police officer said.

Precautionary measures have also been taken on Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. Two companies of security forces have been deployed near Ghazipur and Ashok Nagar side to prevent the entry of farmers from western Uttar Pradesh.

“We have set up border pickets as a precautionary measure on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. Our teams are on alert,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh said.

Farmers in several states are up in arms against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

Source: IANS

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