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Policy Making and Farm Protests

  • IASbaba
  • December 4, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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AGRICULTURE/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

Policy Making and Farm Protests

Context: Need to have detailed discussions and consultations while making law and policy.

Issues

  • Discontent over the new farm laws is a result of sidestepping debate and discussion in Parliament.
  • The Bills were initially enacted through ordinances. 
  • The Bills to replace the ordinance were introduced in Lok Sabha and passed within three days without being referred to a Standing Committee.
  • While the jurisdiction of Parliament to enact these laws seems to be clear, they affect agricultural markets, which are governed by State laws.
  • It was important to address the concerns of various stakeholders, including farmers and State governments. 
  • The absence of proactive engagement with affected parties has led to the current crisis.

Discussions & Consultations

  • The process of building consensus and addressing concerns may be time-consuming, but it leads to greater acceptance of policy objectives.
  • Parliament is perhaps the most important forum for this. 
  • It has a well-established process to get inputs of experts and stakeholders, and to build cross-party consensus while enacting a law. 
  • This is usually done through its committees. 
  • The government can also use other consultative mechanisms, such as expert committees and consultative groups, to get feedback and tailor policy.
  • Parliamentary committees perform a very important role in the lawmaking process.
  • These committees have helped negotiate a path through conflicting interests.

Way Ahead

  • Stable policy-making needs a broad agreement on the benefits of the policy. Such consensus has to be built through conversations with stakeholders.
  • Parliament should revitalise its committees to enable wider public participation. 
  • It should insist that every Bill is deliberated upon in a committee, much like what the British Parliament does. 
  • Parliament needs to perform its function as a deliberative body that enables compromises to assuage concerns.

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