Move to mark area outside mandis market yard

Move to mark area outside mandis market yard

Manpreet Singh Badal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24

The Punjab Government will convert the entire area in the state outside the existing mandis as a principal market yard so as to circumvent The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, passed by Parliament, said Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal here today.

Aimed at skirting Bill: Finance Minister

  • The move is aimed at skirting The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill passed by Parliament
  • The Bill, when enacted, will come into force in residual area outside the state's existing mandis
  • But Section 7A of APMC Act provides for states to declare own trade areas. Punjab Govt is taking legal opinion

The Finance Minister said the preliminary exercise to bring in the change had already been initiated at the official level, but it would be carried out after completing the procedural and legal formalities.

By declaring the entire area of the state as an Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), the Central Act would fail to come into force, he said.

The Centre’s Bill specifies the area for allowing private trade as “outside the physical boundaries of principal market yards, sub-market yards and market sub-yards, managed and run by market committees formed under each state APMC Act in force in India”. This means the controversial Bill, when enacted, will be in force in residual area, outside the state’s existing mandis.

“Section 7A of the APMC Act provides for states to declare their own trade areas. Thus, we are at liberty to declare any area as seasonal market yards/sub-market yards as we want. The Bill also does not bar states from declaring any new areas as market yards. Thus, we are taking legal opinion on declaring the entire area in the state as a principal market yard,” a top official in the Agriculture Department told The Tribune.

As a first step in this direction, Punjab has already increased the market yards/sub-market yards from 1,840 to 4,500. The number will be increased to 5,000 before the start of paddy procurement, said a senior mandi board official.

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