APMC waiver: Chavan not sure about meeting Jan 15 deadline

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PrithvirajMaharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was non-committal on implementing his party high command’s decision to let farmers sell fruits and vegetables outside their designated APMC markets by January 15.

He said the government is still in talks with different stakeholders to allay their fears.

“We are talking to all the stakeholders on the issue (delisting fruits and vegetables from the APMC purview). The motive behind this is that farmers will get a choice to take his produce wherever he wants to sell it,” Chavan said when asked about whether his government will be able to implement the recent decision in this regard.

He was addressing the media after a meeting on launching the country’s largest farmers’ mela, Krishi Vasant, dubbed as the Maha-Kumbh of agriculture, to be held from February 9-13 in Nagpur. The meeting was organised by the industry body CII here today.

“By this we have given a choice to farmers whether they want to join the APMC or provide fruits and vegetables on their own,” he said, adding “it does not mean that we are forcing it down the farmers’ throat and that a farmer is free to go back to the APMC mandis to sell his produce.”

Supporting the reforms move which would eventually benefit farmers, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said the government believes that farmers should get the freedom to sell their produce wherever they want.

“Farmers should get the freedom of selling their produce wherever they want. We have been working on this issue since the past five years,” Pawar said.

On December 27 last year, addressing the 12 Congress chief ministers, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi had said on January 15, all the party-controlled states will partially abolish the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and delist fruits and vegetables from the purview of the Act.