TRADERS AND commission agents across the state have threatened to go on indefinite strike from July 18 if the government fails to heed to their demand. In a meeting held in Vashi on Monday, traders have demanded that they too be made free from the existing rules of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) failing which they would embark on the strike.
The recent changes in the APMC Act has delisted fruits and vegetables as well as reduced the jurisdiction of the market committees within the marketyards. Also, the commission, which at present, is deducted from the farmer’s final bill will be charged from the buyer.
While the government has talked of forming a special committee to frame rules for the traders who operate from the outside, the APMCs traders and commission agents registered their strong protest and observed a day-long bandh on Monday. All the 302 APMCs in the state did not transact business on Monday with traders claiming complete success for their bandh.
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Rajendra Shelkhe, head of the onion-potato commission agent and traders union at Vashi APMC said during the course of the meeting, it was decided that they should also demand for regulation free trade in the marketyards.
“If traders who operate outside the marketyards can carry out their trade without any regulations, why should the APMC regulations be binding on us?” he said.
APMC regulations dictate various norms like usage of electronic weighing machine open auction, payment of market cess etc, which trade outside the marketyard would not attract. In order to have a level playing ground, Shelke said the traders and commission agents of APMC should also be made free from regulation.
Levying of commission to the end buyer, Shelke said will have a negative effect on their business. Buyers would prefer business outside the APMCs and the turnover of the APMC business will see a downward slide.
“We will try to meet the chief minister and explain our point of view. In case the government fails to agree to our demands we have no other option but to go on an indefinite strike from July 18 to coincide with the monsoon session of the state assembly,” he said.