Gandhinagar, 29 September 2020
The Gujarat Agricultural Produce Market (Amendment) Bill 2020 has been passed by the Gujarat Legislative Assembly on 28 September 2020. There are 224 agricultural produce market committees functioning in the state. Open auction works on the principle of correct balance and cash. 28 amendments are being changed or added to this amendment bill. While the definition of farmer has been broadened and broadened, the definition of farmer producer company has been added, besides new definitions like electronic trading, national agriculture market have been added. So that the law can be clear. The bill was passed in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. APMC traders can trade anywhere in Gujarat, private market, special market, e-market, direct purchase market, farmers-consumer markets
First three improvements
The Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1963 was amended in 2007 to include private market, special market, e-market, direct purchase market, farmer-consumer market. In the 2015 reform, only the farmer could be the chairman of the market committee. In 2017, market committees were provided with cleaning, sorting, grading, branding, contract farming.
Extensive provisions have been made for the e-trading platform and any private warehouse, cold storage, silo owner can join this platform by declaring it a market subyard. New buying and selling centers will be set up.
The Gujarat Agricultural Produce Market (Amendment) Bill 2020 provides for bringing the market of haat markets run by local autonomous bodies in tribal areas under the control of the Market Committee.
Gujarat becomes unified license market
Declaring the entire state as a single market, a provision has been made to issue a single unified license to traders. A farmer in Gujarat could sell agricultural produce in any one market committee in Gujarat. Now with the provision of single unified license, a trader from Gujarat can trade in any market committee, main yard, subyard, private market yard of Gujarat with a single license. Just as a Gujarat farmer can sell agricultural produce anywhere in the state, similarly a Gujarat trader can trade anywhere in the state.
In the current scenario, only traders licensed by the market committee were participating in the auction, but now a unified licensed trader would be allowed to trade in all markets and most traders would continue to participate in the firm auction.
Market yard of national imports
Provision has been made for a market yard of national importance. In which if 30% of the total agricultural produce coming for sale in the Market Committee comes from at least two states other than Gujarat, then that market committee can be declared as “MNI” i.e. Market Yard of National Importance . This will enable the market committee to register its presence in the national arena. It will also enhance its trade partnership with other states.
A provision has been made to increase the number of farmer representatives to 10 instead of 8 in the Agricultural Produce Market Committees.
2 percent cess on farmer
Market committees have made a provision for imposing cess on trade in their own yard and subyard. More power to Gujarat State Agricultural Market Board. The state market committee as well as the private market yard will also contribute to the board’s “development fund” to the 2 per cent limit fixed by the marketing board or the state government. The yard of the private market shall not contribute more than 2 percent of the prescribed revenue. The private market yard will be given 80 percent of the contribution amount to the local market committee concerned. 20 percent amount will go to the board.
Warehouse, cold storage also in the market
Provision has been made to declare privately operated godown, cold storage, silo as subordinate to the market.
No third time chairman of marketing committee
The officer authorized by the market committee shall have the power to relieve pressure in the main yard or sub yard of the market committee. Market committees will need to seek prior approval from the director before taking loans and buying and selling properties. No person shall hold the post of Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Marketing Committee for more than two consecutive terms.
The state government agency will set up an e-trading platform and run it. Under which licenses will also be made. This provision will also connect private marketyards, warehouses, silos, cold storage to e-trading platforms.
Minister of State for Cooperation Ishwar Patel introduced the bill.
To increase the storage capacity of market committees, the state government has launched a new scheme of Rs 100 crore to set up 5,000 metric tonnes of godowns in market committees this year.