Ranchi: Governor Ramesh Bais on Tuesday returned the Jharkhand State Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Bill 2022, which was passed by the state assembly in March this year and was sent for his assent amid protests by traders.
A statement issued by the Raj Bhavan in the evening said the bill had several anomalies and mismatches between the Hindi and English versions. “Hence, it has been returned to the state government to rectify the anomalies, get the bill reprinted, get it passed by the assembly and thereafter send it for the governor’s assent,” an official at the Raj Bhavan said.
Notably, this is the fourth bill which was returned to the state government on similar “lapses” after Bias took charge of the office. The other bills which couldn’t come into force despite their passage by the assembly are Pandit Raghunath Murmu Tribal University Bill 2021, Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, and Jharkhand Finance Bill, 2021 (stamp duty). The finance bill was returned twice.
Taking a dig at the state of affairs in the state government in sending the agriculture bill, the Raj Bhavan in its note said, “It may also be noted that it is not the first case, rather almost in most of the bills sent to the Raj Bhavan for assent, such types of anomalies have been pointed out but even then the departments concerned are not taking care in printing the two versions of the bill in conformity with each other.”
The new bill proposes additional taxes ranging between one and two per cent while procuring produces from the farmers directly wherein the farmers do not have to pay any amount. While the state agriculture department maintained that the move conformed with the Centre’s model agriculture mandi schemes, the state traders have been protesting against it calling it unwarranted and that it will lead to a rise in prices of all commodities at a time when everyone is already rattled with uncontrolled inflation in the country.
Since Monday, the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI) had begun their indefinite strike to stop the food supply chain in the state. The stir ended on the second day on Tuesday after the governor’s move. Following the return of the bill, FJCCI president Dheeraj Taneja said they would halt their protest but would continue to oppose any further moves to implement the bill. “In principle, we will continue to oppose this bill whenever it comes,” he told TOI over the phone.
Reacting to the development, state agriculture minister Badal Patralekh told TOI that he was still looking into the details of the objections raised by the Raj Bhavan.
On the next course of government’s action, he said, “Let us first get into the details to be able to take up corrective steps accordingly as per the rule of the land. We will hear all sides to address their grievances and explain our side to move ahead.”

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