Staff Correspondent

APMC has refused to renew licences

of traders

Many of them

are left without

any work

MANGALORE: The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has alleged that the officials managing the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) here are extending preferential treatment to certain traders.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, vice-president of KCCI Srinivas Kamat said, “The authorities are bending the rules to help these traders. The latter are then given preference over others for a certain price,” he alleged.

The reason for Mr. Kamat’s outburst was the recent claim made by president of the APMC Krishnaraj Hegde that 60 traders from the Old Bunder market had shifted to the APMC yard at Bykampady of their own free will.

Mr. Kamat claimed that none of them had voluntarily shifted. “They have been coerced into shifting despite the fact that the APMC yard does not even have the required infrastructure,” he said and added that only 24 reluctant traders had relocated.

The KCCI has been demanding that the Old Bunder market be notified as an APMC market sub-yard so that well-established traders do not have to shift.

The honorary secretary of the KCCI G.G. Mohandas Prabhu said Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had promised him that corrective action would be taken soon.

Mr. Prabhu had led a delegation to Mr. Yeddyurappa earlier this month in this regard. Elaborating on the two main demands that had been placed before the Chief Minister, Mr. Prabhu said the Government had been urged to exercise its legitimate powers and award the Old Bunder market the status of a market sub-yard.

Secondly, the Government had been urged to regulate the functioning of the local APMC through the powers bestowed on it by Section 126 of the APMC Act.

Mr. Prabhu also alleged that the APMC had breached the Presidential Decree of April 1, 2007 by refusing to renew the licences of traders. The president had ordered that all licences of traders be renewed without exception for the next 10 years.

Several traders who had gathered for the meeting told The Hindu that they had been laid off for the last four months as their licences for trading in the 113 commodities listed under the APMC Act had been revoked.

Some traders here also produced receipts signed by the APMC saying that it had received the renewal fee, but despite this, their requests of renewal of licenses had been rejected.

The KCCI has pledged to support the traders, with Mr. Prabhu saying, “It is a question of livelihood of over 480 small and medium traders.”