Notification granting open market yard status to12 pvt silos withdrawn : The Tribune India

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Notification granting open market yard status to12 pvt silos withdrawn

Decision taken after protest by farmers

Notification granting open market yard status to12 pvt silos withdrawn


Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, April 2

Faced with protests by almost all farmer groups over what they allege to be a surreptitious attempt by the state government to allow corporates to operate mandis, the Punjab Mandi Board today withdrew its earlier notification granting the open market yard status to 12 private silos.

Rail roko on April 9 at Shambhu

The SKM (Non-political) has announced its decision to launch its protest against the state government’s silence over the Haryana Police arresting their activists from the state territory. Its leaders Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher announced protests on April 7 and a rail roko at Shambhu on April 9.

No move to merge market committees

Though farmer leaders have alleged that there is a move to merge 26 market committees, officials in the Punjab Mandi Board have denied it. “We were only checking the financial viability of these committees as an internal exercise. There is no move to merge the committees,” a senior officer in the board said. The committees incurring huge losses are located in Amritsar (3) Fatehgarh Sahib (3) Ferozepur (1) Gurdasapur (5) Moga (1) Pathankot (1) Ropar (4) Mohali (6) Nawanshahr (1) and Tarn Taran (1).

With the political heat rising in the run-up to the Lok Sabha poll and the issue having the capacity to hit the ruling dispensation in the state, the Food and Supply Department asked the Punjab Mandi Board to withdraw the notification. The silos are declared as open market yards each year only upon the request of the Food and Supply Department, said a senior officer in the board.

Opposition parties too had raked up the issue and were using it to arouse sentiments among the farmer lobby - a powerful and important vote bank- against the ruling AAP. Prem Singh Bhangu, president of the All-India Kisan Federation, said the withdrawal of the notification today was a big win for the farmer unions.

The two notifications declaring 12 silos as open market yards, where farmers can dump the grain on their own, without the services of a commission agent, use of mandi infrastructure, transport or labour, was issued by the Punjab Mandi Board on March 15 (for 11 silos) and on March 20 (for one silo), leading to the farmer unions announcing their protest.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), too, launched its three-day protest today by issuing warning letters to AAP MLAs in the Malwa region. They had told the AAP MLAs to convince the government to roll back the decision.

Even the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (Non-political), otherwise considered “AAP government-friendly”, today announced its decision to launch its protest against the decision as well as against the state government’s silence over the Haryana Police arresting their activists from the state territory. Its leaders Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher along with others announced protests on April 7 and a rail roko at Shambhu on April 9 if their five activists arrested by Haryana Police were not released.

“We will burn effigies of the BJP and CM Bhagwant Mann. The state government has succumbed to pressure from both BJP and big corporate houses. We will also ask farmers not to take the produce to these silos,” they said.

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