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Q. Revamping APMC Act: Discuss the issue of revamping existing APMC act.
May 01, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

It has been reported that the central government has recommended a new model law to replace the restrictive Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act. Last year the agricultural ministry was announced that it will bring a revamped model Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, which would delink the provision of contract farming that was earlier included in the 2003 legislation.

Issues in existing act-

  • The current act makes it mandatory for farmers to sell only to designated middlemen, who then control trade in farm produce and corner the benefit of higher prices.
  • State APMC Acts have created thousands of fragmented and inefficient markets, due to heavy political influence of the middlemen.

Analysis-

  • Having the provision of contract marketing under the ambit of APMC is an issue of conflict of interest. Need of a law to create a barrier-free single market is long overdue. 
  • There is need of reforms, which would enable organised retail to procure directly from farmers, giving them better incomes and the incentive to produce more. 
  • The expert committee has suggested single-point levy of a market fee and single registration or licence for trade in more than one market and delisting fruit and vegetables from the APMC Act. This makes sense.
  • The committee also suggested for capping various mandi taxes, and making mandatory declaration of warehouses and cold storages as market sub-yards to provide better access and linkages to farmers. 
  • There is a need to develop marketing infrastructure and make the supply chain that links the farmer and the consumer efficient. Hence bringing comprehensive changes in existing APMC act will be first step in this direction.

Conclusion-

The government decision to bring comprehensive changes is welcome move, and already government has recommended various changes in present APMC act. As present act limits the farmers opportunity and middlemen were severely exploiting farmer. Hence a change is necessity to enhance the wellbeing of farmers and reforming Indian agricultural sector.


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