Unfazed by strong opposition to its move of decontrolling fruits and vegetables from the clutches of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), the state government is now planning to decontrol items such as rava (semolina), atta (wheat flour), maida (refined flour), sugar and split dals. As expected, the proposal has been slammed by traders and commission agents, with objections pouring in at the office of the director of marketing.
Deepak Taware, Director, Marketing, Maharashtra said, “These are farm derivatives and there is no need to keep them on the APMC commodity list,” he said.
He added, “These commodities attract multiple cess.” Multiple cess and commission increases the price of the commodity, which do not benefit farmers or give any relief to customer.
Deepak Chavan, Commodity Analyst, Agro Futures, said rava, atta, maida and split dals are processed foods and not agriculture produce. They should not have been on the APMC commodity list at the first place. However, this was done so that APMCs could charge the 0.5 per cent cess and 5 per cent to 6 per cent commission.
If these commodities can be decontrolled, it will be a major achievement as it will have an impact on the price, he added. However, he is sceptical about the state government taking on the powerful lobby of traders and commission agents.
“There will always be resistance to reforms. Traders fear their interests will be hurt. There is enough space for everybody to operate,” said Taware.