‘Centre encroaching rights of States’

Ever since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, the Centre slowly but steadily has been snatching the rights of States, said Legislative Council Chairman Gutha Sukender Reddy on Thursday.

“This will have severe consequences in future,” he said.

Condemning the farm bills passed by the Parliament – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, he said: they are only for the benefit of the corporates.

Addressing press persons at his residence in the town, Mr. Reddy said the bills would soon eliminate the agriculture produce market committee system, the Food Corporation of India, and eventually become the bane of life for the 86% small and marginal farmers in the country.

He described the legislation as unjust. They cannot be labelled as reforms, he said.

Similar encroachments, as Mr. Reddy put it, are the Electricity Bill and the New Education Policy which are State subjects, but with the Centre’s intervention, the 24-hour free electricity for farmers in Telangana, the imposition of Hindi in Tamil Nadu, and the like, will have severe consequences.

According to him, such legislation is “an outcome of unilateral decision-making by the Centre,” and the only workable way is dialogue and deliberation with all the stakeholders, he said.

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