Maharashtra traders urge state govt to do away with APMC Act

Traders feel the APMC Act has now outlived its utility in the present form.

TRADERS IN MAHARASHTRA have urged the state government to either do away with the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act or amend the Act to provide level playing field to traders with the farmers who now have the freedom to sell their produce outside mandis without paying any taxes. Traders who operate within the environs of market yards have to pay a market cess of 0.5% o 1% of the trade value of the transaction.

Traders feel the APMC Act has now outlived its utility in the present form. Mohan Gurnani, president, Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industries and Trade ( CAMIT), said that the central government’s ‘The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020′ permitting farmers to sell their products directly to anyone even without a valid APMC licence made APMC markets redundant.

“We strongly feel there is an urgent need to revisit the utility of the APMC Act in the changed circumstances,” Gurnani said. “The government has clarified that it would not like to do away with the APMC Act. We are also aware of the fact that the government of Maharashtra too would not like to disturb the said Act. But keeping the Act in the present form under the changed circumstances would be injustice to the traders,” he said.

The chamber that has around 750 trade associations in the state ( including 50,000 APMC traders) fear they would
be hit hard and deprived of their livelihood. They reckon traders in market yard will not survive if the goods were to go directly from farmers to consuming centres without any market fee and are sold at cheaper rate.

Significantly, the Uttar Pradesh government has scrapped the market cess, he pointed out.

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