Chandigarh, October 29, 2020: Senior SAD leader Dr Daljit Cheema said that if the Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh could pass an amendment in its assembly and declare whole state as a market to counter centre’s farm laws, why can’t the same be done in Punjab, where Congress is in power.
“Why @capt_amarinder, @sunilkjakhar avoided this in Punjab? SAD has demanded same amendment in APMC act in Punjab?” Cheema tweeted.
The Chhattisgarh assembly on Tuesday approved the Chhattisgarh Krishi Upaj Mandi (Amendment) Bill 2020 that declared the entire state as a market for selling agriculture produce to negate the Centre’s farm laws that allowed private players to directly buy produce from farmers.
Amendments have been made in the Mandi Act so that farmers can get better prices against their produce. The bill has provision to safeguard the interests of the farmers and at the same time it doesn’t violate any Central laws, thus avoiding confrontation with the Centre, said Chhattisgarh agriculture minister Ravindra Choubey.
Speaking over the objective of the bill, Choubey said, “There are 80 percent small and marginal farmers in the state. Since these marginal and small farmers neither have the capacity to store food grains nor to bargain on its prices in the market, it has become necessary to establish ‘Deemed Mandi (Market)’ and electronic trading platform in their benefit so that they can get the right price for their produce without being impacted by market fluctuations”.
Choubey said in this bill, an amendment Deemed Mandi has been added with Mandi and the state has defined Deemed Mandi as private markets.
The state government may, by another notification, declare/establish deemed market which shall be known as deemed market of the market established under sub-section (l) for the purpose of this Act, sale-purchase, processing and manufacturing, cold storage, silos, warehouse, electronic trading and transaction platform and other such places or structures, in respect of the agricultural produce specified in the schedule.
The amendment bill also has the provision to ensure power to the secretary or any employee of the market committee or the board, who is empowered by the competent authority or notified officers to order production of accounts relating to the purchase and sale of the notified agricultural produce from any person.
Provisions have been added wherein state government departments/officials have been given right to inspection and, if required, seizure as well. They also have the right to inspect storage (godowns) and vehicles and seize if required. The bill has also defined the rights of courts.
The state government may establish an electronic trading platform for the sale of notified agriculture produce. Farmer/seller should sell his produce to the local market as well as other markets of the state and traders of other states through a transparent auction process on the basis of quality to get better price and timely online payment, Choubey said.