Trading in the marketing yard of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), came to a grinding halt when commission agents under the banner of the Grains and Seeds Merchants Association began their indefinite strike against the implementation of the amended APMC Act.

One of the major demands of the striking commission agents was that the government should unconditionally withdraw the amended APMC Act which has been brought about hurriedly without consulting the stake holders, including the farmers and the traders, and continue the provisions of the previous act which protected the interests of both the farmers and traders.

Several farmers organisations and trade organisations, including the Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HKCCI), Karnataka Pranta Raitha Sangha (KPRS), Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Karnataka Pradesh Red Gram Growers Association, Swadeshi Jagrana Manch and others have extended their support to the indefinite dharna in front of the office of the APMC.

‘Capitalistic ploy’

President of the Grains and Seeds Merchants Association Srimanth Udnoor questioned the intentions of the Union and State governments to bring in changes to the old APMC act and why the agriculture marketing sector which was a privy of small and marginal traders and farmers opened to the big players.

He said that there was been nationwide protests against the implementation of the provisions of new APMC act which laid red carpet welcome to the multi national companies to establish private market yards.

Following protests by the farmers in States like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and others, the implementation of the provisions of the new act has been given up.

However, Mr. Udnoor said, that the Karnataka was trying to implemented the amended APMC act by browbeating the commission agents functioning in the APMC yards that they would have to compulsorily take the new trading licences before July 15 and the old licenses would not be valid from July 16.

The notices have been issued to the APMCs in the North Karnataka asking them to implement the provisions of the act strictly and ask the commission agents to avail the new trading license as per the amended act.

“We would not be cowed down by such threats and pressures from the insensitive government, ” Mr. Udnoor said.

Reports from Yadgir said that the commission agents staged a protest demonstration against the amended APMC Act in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office and began their indefinite strike.

Reports from other APMC yards in Gulbarga, Yadgir and Bidar districts said the strike was total.

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