Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) traders at Vashi, Navi Mumbai, have decided to go on an indefinite strike after the Maharashtra government passed the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing Development and Regulation Act Ordinance in the Lower House on Tuesday.
Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) traders at Vashi, Navi Mumbai, have decided to go on an indefinite strike after the Maharashtra government passed the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing Development and Regulation Act Ordinance in the Lower House on Tuesday. The traders had observed a one day-bandh on Tuesday against the government’s decision to de-notify all agri-commodities from the purview of the mandis.
Mathadi workers in the state who had joined the protest have decided to extend their strike for a day and wait for the government’s stand on workers’ issues before announcing an indefinite strike against the APMC reforms. Narendra Patil, general secretary of Maharashtra Rajya Mathadi, Transport, and General Kamgar Union, said he had met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Marketing Minister Subhash Deshmukh in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday.
“The Bill has been passed in the Lower House and is yet to be taken up in the Upper House. The government has given an assurance to clarify its stand on traders, commission agents and Hamals on Wednesday. The Mathadis will take a final decision after the government stand is made clear,” he said. Mathadi workers will observe a bandh on Wednesday as well. In case, the workers are unhappy with government’s assurances, a decision would be taken with regard to an indefinite agitation, he said.
The Maharashtra State Market Committees Federation, led by Dilip Mohite Patil, however has decided to file a petition in high court against the Government’s decision to pass the Bill in the Lower House. Patil said the Government had gone ahead and passed the Bill in the Lower House without taking any of the stakeholders into confidence and therefore the market committees shall remain closed the next three days after which a final decision will be taken. Terming this as a move to wipe out market committees completely, he said market cess was the only source of income for these committees in rural areas and these panels had to raise funds on their own. A move of this nature will hit them badly, he added. The federation represents 305-odd market committees of the state.
A couple of days ago, traders at Vashi who held a meeting with Minister for Cooperation and Marketing Subhash Deshmukh to seek clarity on the role of commission agents in APMCs and also transactions on eNAM. The state government on October 25 issued an ordinance de-notifying all agriculture commodities effective immediately, which means farmers and traders were free to sell produce within and outside the APMC. The state government in July 2016 had de-notified fruits and vegetables, thereby allowing farmers to sell their produce to buyers within or outside APMC yards as per their choice for better realisation.