Despite budgetary announcement, no market fee waiver yet

Despite budgetary announcement, no market fee waiver yet

A display board featuring the Chief Minister announced reduction in market fee from 4 per cent to 1 per cent in Amritsar. Tribune photo

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 31

Despite announcement of market fee reduction from 4 per cent to 1 per cent by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in his last Budget speech, the Market Committee continues to charge 4 per cent.

Even boards displaying photographs of Capt Amarinder Singh sharing space with farmers and announcing the reduction in the market fee from 4 per cent to 1 per cent on fruit and vegetables were installed at wholesale vegetable and fruit markets across the state.

Some such display boards have been installed at the Vallah area. The Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Union and the Fruit Merchants Welfare Association have been demanding the waiver of market fee for a long. They are disappointed over the non-implementation of the announcement.

Arvinder Singh and Kanwaljit Singh Pahwa, president and general secretary, respectively, of the association, stated that Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal had announced the reduction in his last budget speech.

The Market Committee manages the upkeep of wholesale vegetable and fruit markets, charges 2 per cent market fee and equal quantum of rural development fund (RDF). The market fee is invested in development of mandis and the RDF is invested in development of villages.

Leaders of the associations said the large-scale vegetable production and low rates of crops in the market compelled farmers to throw vegetables on roads.

So, traders of Punjab prefer to purchase fruit and vegetables from border towns like Jasoor in Himachal, Ambala in Haryana and Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan. Subsequently, they sell these in internal markets of the state to earn maximum profit which hurt the interests of indigenous vegetable and fruit growers.

They stated that Himachal, Haryana and now Rajasthan had also abolished the market fee and the RDF completely, while Delhi levies 1 per cent, Gujarat .80%, MP 2% and Maharashtra 1%.

Amardeep Singh, secretary of the market committee, said his office had not received any notification regarding the reduction in market fee but confirmed there was a budget proposal.

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