As the nationwide strike by transporters entered the third day, commission agents of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Rajkot stopped the auction of commodities, saying merchants were unable to dispatch commodities from the yard. With this, Rajkot became the second big yard to stop auction after the Gondal APMC.
“Merchants told us they will not be able to take part in the auction from tomorrow as, due to the ongoing strike of goods transporters, they are unable to dispatch commodities from the yard. Therefore, we have decided that commission agents will not take part in the auction from Tuesday, therefore operations in the yard will remain suspended until the strike by transporters ends. We have also requested farmers not to bring their commodities to the yard till then,” Atul Kamani, president of Rajkot APMC Commission Agents Association, told The Indian Express.
All Indian Motor Transport Congress, an association of transporters, started its nationwide strike on Saturday over a host of pending demands, including the abolition of toll tax and bringing diesel under GST. As a result of the strike, most trucks which ferry goods have been off the road for three days.
“We are unable to dispatch commodities from the yard as no transporter is willing to load them. Nor are there enough storage facilities available at the APMC yard. We had no option but to request suspension of operations of auction,” said Hitesh Vora, president of Rajkot Marketing Yard General Merchants Association, a body of traders of Rajkot APMC.
Kamani said that though it is off season and it has been raining, daily turnover of Rs 8-10 crore at the yard would come to a halt. “Farmers are bringing commodities like groundnut, wheat, gram, cumin seeds. But no auction will take place from Tuesday,” he said.
Rajkot APMC is the second big market to suspend operations due to the transporters’ strike. Gondal APMC, one the biggest yards in the state, had suspended auction from Saturday.
Devraj Sakhiya, chairman of Rajkot APMC, said they were helpless. “We cannot persuade transporters to withdraw their strike. We also understand that we do not have storage facility that can be made available to traders for stocking commodities that they purchase. There is little we can do in this situation,” he said.
Sources in Amreli APMC said that auction is likely to be suspended from Tuesday. “Traders have started withdrawing from the auction process saying they are unable to send sell commodities,” said a source, adding that the yard is recording nominal arrival of cotton and sesame seeds.