In a relief to farmers and traders, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday cancelled a notification it issued in May last year that included new agricultural produces in Annexure-I of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1987 and its Rules, 1991, to levy a market cess of 1% on traders.
However, the cess would continue to be levied but only in those districts producing the specific agricultural produce. A senior official told TheHindu that there were practical difficulties when officials attempted to implement the May notification.
"With the cancellation of this notification, the earlier practice (existing before May 2022) will continue," the official said. For instance, the cess would be levied on cashew in producing districts such as Ariyalur, Cuddalore and other districts and not in Kanniyakumari, which has a large number of businessmen marketing cashew. In May, the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department included cereals, pulses, oil seeds, fibers, including coconut coir, tubers, condiments and spices, besides sugarcane jaggery in all forms, raw rubber in all forms, silk cotton in all forms and coconut in all forms except tender coconut in Annexure-I of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1987. Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam had opposed it contending that it would affect traders and farmers and further insisted against cess on transactions outside the regulated markets too. In his reply, Agriculture Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam had said the move would indeed benefit them. Farmers would be able to take their agriculture produce to any of the regulated markets across the State for appropriate price, the Minister had said.