The Maharashtra government decison to penalise traders with a one-year jail term and a fine of Rs 50,000 for buying crops below the minimum support price (MSP) is likely to escalate into a major faceoff with traders staying away from auctions. Several markets in the state, which deal into pulses, foodgrains and oilseeds remained closed with more trader associations deciding to stay away from auctions. Latur, Baramati, Barshi, Khamgaon, Jalna, Jamkhed, Dhamangaon and all markets dealing in foodgrains and pulses saw auctions being boycotted by traders. The Federation of Association of Traders (Maharashtra) has called for a meeting on September 3 in Pune to decide the next line of action. Walchand Sancheti, president of the Federation said that traders were unnecessarily being made scapegoats when Nafed is selling 'Tur' below MSP. \u201cMarket prices are determined by demand and supply. We see diesel and petrol prices varying on a daily basis as per market conditions. How can government expect traders to buy above MSP when Nafed is allowed to sell below MSP,\u201d he asked. \u201cAs on date, prices of most of the commodities are running below MSP - Jowar -Rs 1,150-1,400 per quintal, Maize \u2013 Rs 1,250 per quintal, Tur-Rs 3,650 per quintal, Chana -Rs 3,500 to Rs 3,800 per quintal, Soybean \u2013 Rs 3,260 per quintal. The MSP for these commodities are Jowar- Rs 2,300 per quintal, Maize-Rs 1,750 per quintal, Tur- Rs 5,450 per quintal, Chana- Rs 4,400 per quintal, Soybean- Rs 3,399 per quintal,\u201d he pointed out. Meanwhile, the government has not been successful in its procurement programme of Tur and Chana and farmers were not given payments even after 6 months, Tur is imported from Myanmar at Rs 3,300 per quintal. \u201cHow is this permitted,\u201d he asked. The Federation has suggested that the government should implement the Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana on the lines of Madhya Pradesh and make payments directly into farmer accounts, he said.