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Thursday, January 27, 2022

After year of out-of-mandi business, FPCs get notice from APMCs for ‘unlicenced trade’

🔴 FPCs, however, have said such notices will lead to harassment and curtailing of farm gate activities by them.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: December 7, 2021 8:23:06 am
After year of out-of-mandi business, FPCs get notice from APMCs for ‘unlicenced trade’Under the amended law, the APMC had power only within its perimeter wall, while there was no need to take a licence and pay cess to committees. (Express Photo by Pavan Khengre)

Weeks after the central government rolled back the three contentious farm laws, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) in Maharashtra have started issuing notices to Farmer Producers Companies (FPCs) for “unlicenced trade outside mandis”. FPCs, however, have said such notices will lead to harassment and curtailing of farm gate activities by them.

The central government’s surprise decision to repeal the farm laws has hit state FPCs, which had developed agricultural trade outside mandis since the amended farm laws were passed last year. The new laws had done away with provisions such as taking a licence or paying cess to APMCs for carrying out trade within their “trade area” (the area within which marketing committees are allowed to regulate trade in agricultural commodities). Under the amended law, the APMC had power only within its perimeter wall, while there was no need to take a licence and pay cess to committees.

MahaFPC, the consortium of state Farmer Producers Companies, had reported over Rs 40 crore in trade by directly supplying about 10,000 tonnes of oilseeds and grains like maize to companies after procurement from their member farmers.Thirty eight FPCs had started trade outside mandis, mainly in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. MahaFPC has over 600 members in the state.

But since the rollback of the laws, FPCs have been wary of action by the APMCs.

Recently, an FPC in Parli taluka of Beed district has been issued notice by the Parli-Vaijnath APMC for “unauthorised procurement in their area”. The notice accuses this FPC, which has started procuring oilseeds, of doing so without a licence and has asked it to submit details of all its procurement.

Yogesh Thorat, managing director of MahaFPC, said other FPCs have also received similar queries from APMCs.

In an earlier statement, Thorat had termed the repeal of the three laws as a “major setback” to the business plan of FPCs. He had said the FPCs would be writing to the government of Maharashtra, seeking waiving of cess for procurement done by the companies at farm gate. “Regulatory issues will make our business less competitive,” he had said.

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