Singhu Border, 30 July (Sangrami Lehar Bureao)- On Day 7 of the Kisan Sansad parallel to the Parliament of India, the debate and proceedings were on the Electricity Amendment Bill. This is incidentally listed for introduction in the list of Business for the monsoon session of the Parliament, despite the Government of India assuring the protesting farmers that it will withdraw the Electricity Amendments Bill, during one round of the 11 rounds of formal talks.
As on the earlier days of the Kisan Sansad, a batch of 200 farmers left from Singhu Border on time, and started the Kisan Sansad deliberations as per schedule, in a highly disciplined and orderly manner. The Members who took part in the deliberations also reflected their deep knowledge and analysis of the subject, belying the government’s claims that farmers need to be educated about these various legislations!
The Kisan Sansad expressed shock and dismay at the Government reneging on its commitment on 30th December 2020 to farmer leaders that the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 will be withdrawn. The Kisan Sansad concluded that the Electricity Amendment Bill, like other legislations being thrust by the Modi government on farmers and other common citizens in an unconstitutional and undemocratic way, is basically to facilitate the entry and profitable operations of corporations into distribution of electricity. The Bill seeks to thrust a national tariff policy, violating the authority of state governments in determining their own policies. The Bill will put an end to cross-subsidies, and ensure that commercial entities and industries benefit from lower costs. In the name of DBT of subsidies, this legislation will translate the policy plans of ending subsidies in this sector into reality. The Sansad resolved that electricity being a basic resource for rural production and processing including by farmers, cottage industries, and for health education and other basic civic services, the policy should be to provide free, high quality, regular supply of electricity, to enable rural people and farmers to benefit from the same. It directed the Government of India not to table this Bill or any other Bill containing similar provisions in this or subsequent sessions of the Parliament.
In Lok Sabha today, “The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021” was introduced amid continued protests by Opposition MPs on various issues including the black farm laws. It is noteworthy that while Section 14 related to Penalties says that “the provisions of this section shall not apply to any farmer for causing air pollution by stubble burning or mismanagement of agricultural residue”, there is a new provision introduced insidiously by the Government. A new section (Section 15) titled misleadingly as “Environmental Compensation” says that “the Commission may impose and collect Environmental Compensation from farmers causing air pollution by stubble burning, at such rate and in such manner, as may be prescribed”. SKM warns the Government against playing games with protesting farmers, and reneging on commitments already made.
Yesterday, farmers in Sirsa, Haryana protested peacefully and ensured that a BJP meeting could not be held in village Porhka. The protestors managed this despite a heavy downpour.
Tomorrow is the martyrdom day of Shaheed Udham Singh. It will be marked as anti-imperialist day.
In Uttar Pradesh, farmers have decided to get more toll plazas freed up. As part of this plan, at Mat in Mathura on Yamuna Expressway, an indefinite protest was initiated after informing the district administration of the same.