Q . The recent farm ordinances have created vast hue and cry. Critically analyze the recent amendments made to the APMC Act and its implications. 6TH, NOVEMBER,2020(15 marks, 250 words, GS-3)
- Beginning with the objective of the ordinance
- The second para could be about the features of the ordinance
- Next para could be about the issues raised
- Ending with what can be done and steps to be taken
Recently, the Central government has enacted the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 to facilitate the farmers for getting the desired prices for their produce. However it has been repeatedly protested against citing several reasons that would restrict the roadmap to double farmers’ income by 2022.
Objective of the Ordinance-
- To provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels
- To promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter-State and intra-State trade and commerce of farmers’ produce
- To provide a facilitative framework for electronic trading
- Farmers’ produce includes cereals like wheat, rice, or other cereal coarse grains, pulses, edible oilseeds, oils, vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, sugarcane and products of poultry, piggery, goatery, fishery and dairy intended for human consumption, cattle fodder and raw cotton whether ginned or unginned, cotton seeds and raw jute.
- Any trader or organization can perform such trading with any farmer or group of farmers in or outside a trade area.
- However PAN is must for such trader.
- Central government, if finds necessary in public interest, can prescribe a system for electronic registration for a trades, mode of payment and mode of trade transaction
- Payment to the farmer on trade should be made same day or within the maximum three days if procedurally so required but the receipt should be provided the same day.
- Any person other than individual can establish and operate an electronic trading and transaction platform for facilitating inter-State and intra-State trade.
- However, if Central government seems necessary in public interest can issue procedures, guidelines, rules and regulation regarding such electronic trading and transaction platforms.
- No market fee or cess or levy under any State APMC Act or any other State law is applicable on such transactions and trade.
- Development of price information and market intelligence system by Central government
- A Board of Conciliation is to be established by Sub-divisional Magistrate in case of any dispute between farmer and the trader.
- Appeal against the Conciliatory board lies in front of an Appellate Authority within 30 days of adjudication.
- Against Federalism– agriculture is a State subject
- Farmers would at mercy of private traders
- Farmers do not have enough bargaining power
- May disrupt the contract farming
- Executives given the charge of dispute resolution
- Will weaken state finances
- What about the unorganized sector directly linked to APMCs?
- Further increase in prices for consumers while not for farmers
The government needs to include all the stakeholders before moving further. The APMCs may be facing several issues but instead of removing such issues, one can’t run away from the reforms. Government can better remove the issues and realize the proper pricing for the produce to achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.