Monday, March 1

Special Punjab assembly session to counter Centre’s farm laws begins today

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The two-day special session of the Punjab assembly begins on Monday morning with the state cabinet authorising chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to bring a Bill to counter the Centre’s three farm laws.

The Bill will be presented in the House for approval on Tuesday, it is learnt. However, ministers and officers of the agriculture department were tightlipped on the Bill details even as opposition parties – the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) — demanded that the draft of the Bill be made public.

“In the meeting on Sunday, all ministers authorised the CM to take legislative and legal decisions he may deem fit to protect the interests of the farmers,” said minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.

DECLARING PUNJAB ‘PRINCIPAL MARKET YARD’

The chief minister had assured representatives of farmer organisations on September 29 of the Bill to counter the Centre’s laws.

The SAD asked the state government to declare Punjab as “principal market yard” for agricultural produce so that the Centre’s laws do not apply in the state, terming it as the quickest and the most effective counter measure.

FACTORIES ORDINANCE TO BE TABLED TODAY

To improve investment and generate employment, the cabinet on Sunday gave its nod for converting the Factories (Punjab Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 into a Bill, to be tabled for enactment in the Vidhan Sabha on Monday aimed at amending the Factories Act, 1948.

The Bill will facilitate faster settlement of cases and reduction in court action, besides changing the existing threshold limit for small units from 10 and 20 to 20 and 40, respectively. The change has been necessitated with the increase in manufacturing by small units in the state.

FARMERS TO MEET ON TUESDAY TO DISCUSS FUTURE COURSE

Meanwhile, farmers continued their protest against the farms laws across the state.

Devinder Singh, the Amritsar district president of the Kishan Sangharsh Committee, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had introduce the farm laws to benefit corporates but the farmers would not allow the laws to be implemented in Punjab.“The Prime Minister has brought such laws to benefit his friends Ambani and Adani, but the farmers of Punjab will not let anyone control their land and these laws will not be allowed to be implemented in Punjab. We have expressed our opposition against the laws and have burnt the effigies of Ambani, Adani and PM,” he said.

Farmers are meeting on October 20 to discuss the future strategy.