THE landmark 'Freedom To Farm' bill
which was recently inked by the us
President Bill Clinton, marks a sweeping change in us farm programme instituted in the post-deprewon era- The
bill will gradually phase out not just the
heavy subsidies enjoyed by American
farmers, but also 11inlrate them from
earlier constraints. No longer can
Washington dictate what and how
much the farmers ought to grow, or
whether they are to produce at all. The
cheering lot are mightily relieved as they
can now go ahead and give farmers else-
where in the world, a run for their
money in the export market. The new
legislation, valid for seven years, lifts
restrictions but continues providing
farmers their annual - albeit declining
- payments upto the year 2002.
But the bill has its critics, who are
led by none other than the L s President
himself. The reluctant President has said
he would work with the Congress nest
year to try and "strengthen" the legislation because it currently implies a weakening of the safety net farmers were earlier guaranteed against pi ice plunges and natural disasters.
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