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Azadpur Mandi on strike, govt steps in to prevent crisis

Demand that they be allowed to collect commission from farmers and not buyers.

New Delhi |
February 4, 2014 2:10:31 am
An empty Azadpur Mandi on Monday. (Amit Mehra) An empty Azadpur Mandi on Monday. (Amit Mehra)

Hundreds of traders and workers at Azadpur Mandi went on strike on Monday, demanding that they be allowed to collect their commission from the farmers right at the time of transaction at the mandi, instead of from the buyers. The traders currently take 6 per cent of what the farmer is paid  at the time of the transaction at the Mandi.

One of the traders at the Azadpur Mandi said, “We deal in huge volumes and often sell the produce to the buyers at a credit. Sometimes they pay us off as late as four months. If we don’t take any commission from the sellers at the time of the sale, we will have no money left. Sometimes, the buyer defaults on the payment. What will happen to our earning in that case?”

Traders called the strike after the Delhi government issued orders that traders at mandis will have to charge the six per cent commission from the buyers at the mandi and not from the farmers, as was the practice earlier.

The situation at other mandis in the city, however, remained normal. “People are assuming that situation across Delhi is bad. They are mistaken. Situation across the other six mandis is normal and price rise in any commodity will only be artificial,” Mukesh Tiwari, chairman of Ghazipur APMC, said.

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He added, “It so happens that the group of traders involved in the strike largely deal in tomatoes, so the supply has been affected.

But, I am reasonably certain that the strike will end tomorrow.”

“Potatoes, onions, garlic — nothing has been affected. Tomatoes perish very quickly, so the trucks haven’t come in fearing the strike by tomato traders at the Azadpur mandi,” Rajendra Sharma, former chairman of Azadpur APMC, said.

Minister for Development Girish Soni said he had already obtained the approval for implementing the Essential Services

Maintenance Act (ESMA) from the Lt-Governor, anticipating a trouble in the Mandi.

“We obtained his approval on Friday itself, in case situation went out of hand. We will watch the situation at the mandi. If the traders don’t call off the strike soon, we will implement the Act, following which they will face legal action if they don’t call off the strike,” Soni said.

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