Centre allocates Rs 200 cr for national agri market

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New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2015 12:08:00 AM

The government has allocated R200 crore to the newly created Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund, which would support online integration of 585 Agricultural Produce Market Committee...

The government has allocated R200 crore to the newly created Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund, which would support online integration of 585 Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis in the next three years.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved creation of the fund under which the agriculture ministry’s arm Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) will help creation of a common electronic platform known as National Agriculture Market (NAC).

“Now there will be one licence for entire state, there will be single point levy. There will be electronic auctions for price discovery. The impact will be that the entire state will become a market and the fragmented markets within the states would be abolished,” finance minister Arun Jaitley told reporters.

Under the special fund, 250 APMC mandis would be integrated through online platform in the current fiscal and 200 mandis would be added in the next fiscal. The integration of the rest 135 APMC mandis would be completed in 2017-18.

“Seamless transfer of agriculture commodities within the state can take place. The market size for farmers would increase as he won’t be limited to a captive market,” Jaitley said.

The allocation of R200 crore includes provision for supplying software by agriculture department, which would be given free to the states and the cost of setting up of hardware mandi infrastructure would be subsidised by the Centre up to R30 lakh for each mandi.

Agriculture secretary Siraj Hussain said states such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat have agreed to join the NAM.

“Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are very keen to participate. Besides, the Centre is discussing with Uttar Pradesh for joining the national online platform,” Hussain said at a seminar organised by Assocham.

As reported by FE on Thursday, for registration with national online market, the concerned state must provide single licence to traders which would be valid across the physical boundary of the state, the APMC would have to provide provision for electronic trading and issue licences to traders from any region or state, who would operate through online trading.

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