Karntaka Cabinet clears Ordinance to amend APMC Act

While Opposition terms it ‘anti-farmer’ move, govt. says it will help them

The State Cabinet on Thursday cleared the Ordinance to bring in changes to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act to remove restrictions on the sale of farm produce.

This, the government contends, will help farmers severely hit by the COVID-19 lockdown. The Opposition and farmers’ organisations have opposed the move.

The changes in the legislation will enable farmers to sell their produce in farm fields or anywhere without the intervention of APMCs. This will allow food processing companies to directly procure commodities from farmers without the role of APMCs.

The changes in the Act will come into effect after Governor Vajubhai Vala give his assent to the Ordinance, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy told presspersons after the Cabinet meeting.

Following the Centre’s suggestion to States, the Cabinet decided to take the Ordinance route to bring in amendments to the APMC Act and adopt the Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017, of the Centre.

BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have already made amendments to the APMC Act.

The Congress and representatives of farmers’ organisations have termed the Ordinance “anti-farmer”, saying it aimed at clipping the powers of APMCs.

Reforms will only benefit MNCs, big players and supermarket chains, they argued.

Experts argue that the Ordinance to the APMC Act will change the existing arrangement in which the price mechanism is monitored at AMPC markets that have been built over decades.

The Opposition and leaders of farmers’ organisations are expected to launch protests opposing the APMC reforms.

The State has more than 162 APMCs and more than 354 sub-markets. Moreover, marketing at APMCs generates nearly ₹1,000 crore revenue to the State exchequer. Nearly 17,000 traders and about 34,000 agents involved in APMC marketing are present in Karnataka.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 12:04:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karntaka-cabinet-clears-ordinance-to-amend-apmc-act/article31584666.ece

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