1. Home
  2. News

Karnataka Govt Withdraws APMC Amendment Amid Farmers' Concerns

Karnataka Government’s decision to withdraw APMC Amendment aims to address the concerns raised by farmers and ensure fair prices for their produce, while also considering the interests of the trading community and the need for a regulatory mechanism.

Shivam Dwivedi
Karnataka Govt Withdraws APMC Amendment Amid Farmers' Concerns (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Karnataka Govt Withdraws APMC Amendment Amid Farmers' Concerns (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The Karnataka government made a significant move on Wednesday by tabling a bill that repealed the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulations and Development) amendment. This amendment, which allowed for a free market and withdrew control of the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) over agricultural produce, had been met with controversy.

The APMC amendment was one of three farm laws introduced by the Modi government in 2020 and faced strong opposition from farmers in the National Capital Region (NCR), specifically from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. The opposition was so intense that Prime Minister Narendra Modi eventually withdrew the act within a year.

The same controversial amendment was then adopted by the Karnataka government under the BJP administration from 2019 to 2023, following instructions from the central BJP leadership. However, the recent decision to revert back to the old APMC Act of 1966 has been made, along with an additional change that dilutes the powers of the market committee. This change grants powers to the agriculture marketing director to issue trade licenses in the APMCs, reducing the control of the market committee.

The state government justifies this decision by citing the repeal of a similar law by the central government in 2021. The Congress government, in its statement of objects and reasons, explained that the amendment act in 2020 left farmers trading in areas outside the market yards vulnerable to exploitation by traders due to the lack of a regulatory mechanism.

The government argues that the online mode of wholesale trade in agricultural produce conducted in the market yards provides competitive and fair prices for farmers. However, in the absence of an online system for trade outside the market yards, farmers would not receive fair and competitive prices for their produce.

Another key point mentioned by the government is the settlement of disputes arising between farmers and market functionaries, such as disputes over weight and payment, which was facilitated by the market yards under the APMC. The open market lacked such a mechanism, leaving farmers without recourse in case of disputes.

The government also highlights the employment opportunities provided by the APMCs, stating that around one lakh people are employed in various roles within the committees. These roles include licensed traders, hamals, weighmen, cart men, assistants working with traders, commission agents, and stockist shops. Reverting to the old act would ensure regular work throughout the year for these individuals.

Furthermore, the government emphasizes that the old act would provide detailed information and data on prices and arrivals of commodities in the market yards. This information would be beneficial in framing policies and programs by the state government.

The state government argues that in the two years since the implementation of the amendments, there has been no substantial increase in the prices of produce or the income of farmers. It remains to be seen how the farming community will respond to this decision, as opinions are expected to vary. However, the trading community is likely to favor the repeal of the existing amendment, as it would restore the APMCs to their full force.

Additionally, the bill introduces a clause that dilutes the powers of the APMC market committee, allowing the director of agricultural marketing or the officer authorized by them to issue trade licenses within the market yards.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters