Traders condemn State’s move, stop purchasing farm produce

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Aug 2018 09:59:43



Traders purchasing below MSP from farmers will be fined Rs 50,000 and jail-term of one year FAM has convened a meeting of its members in Pune on September 3 to decide future course of action

Business Bureau

TRADERS are opposing tooth and nail the move of the Maharashtra Government to purchase farm produce mainly grains and pulses from farmers not below the Minimum Support Price (MSP). If any trader purchases farm produce from farmers below MSP, then he will be fined Rs 50,000 and an imprisonment of one year.

Pratap Motwani, Vice-President of Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) said, “Presently, all the grains and pulses in the market are priced below MSP in the open market. Then, under such circumstances, how it is possible for the traders to purchase farm produce below MSP.”

The Government’s MSP for Moong is Rs 6,960 per quintal whereas in the open market it is priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 5,500. Similarly, MSP for Tur is Rs 5,450 per quintal and in open market it is priced between Rs 3,900 and Rs 4,000. Imported (Mumbai) is available at Rs 3,300; Gram MSP - Rs 4,450 and in open market - Rs 3,600-Rs 3,900; Urad MSP - Rs 5,600 and in open market - Rs 3,500-Rs 4,500; Jowar MSP - Rs 2,300 and in open market it is quoted between Rs 1,600 and Rs 1,850 while Maize MSP - Rs 1,750 and in open market - Rs 1,400-Rs 1,600.

“If the prices in the open market are quoted below MSP, then how it is possible for the traders to purchase the grains and pulses from farmers above MSP. The move of the State Government will bring huge losses to the farmers,” Motwani wondered. It is also not certain that at what time, State Government will purchase the farm produce from the farmers above MSP.

Motwani said the decision of the State Government is totally against traders, farmers and general public. Taking serious cognisance of the State Government’s move , traders, adatiyas and commission agents in several mandis have stopped purchasing mainly grains and pulses from the farmers. Even, farmers’ representatives, too, are opposing the move of State Government. “The traders and adatiyas in Kalamna market are also deciding to join other associations of mandis in Maharashtra,” Motwani said.
The associations operating in mandis and marketyards have decided not to purchase grains and pulses until and unless State Government rolls back its decision.

Motwani said, on the one hand State Government has taken a decision to purchase farm produce from farmers at MSP and on the other, the prices of farm produce are quoted below MSP in commodity exchanges. He said: “Why State Government is not taking action against the commodity exchanges. If the prices are quoted above MSP then automatically prices in open market will move up.” Motwani suggested that Government should now allow prices of pulses to be sold below MSP, then only decision of the State Government would yield fruits.

He said, the prices of majority of crops in the market is decided by conducting auction and not as per MSP. “State Government is inviting bids to sell foodgrains and other commodities stored in the FCI and in auctioning, foodgrains are sold below MSP. The same Government, which is asking traders to purchase crop from farmers above MSP, is selling its own stored foodgrains below MSP,” he noted.

Motwani said, Maharashtra is the only State in the country which has taken such irrational decision. Walchand Sancheti, President of FAM had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene in the matter and withdraw the decision. A meeting of FAM is scheduled in Pune on September 3 where the future course of the action will be decided.