NURPUR, DECEMBER 26
The Himachal Pradesh Veopar Mandal has taken a strong exception to the recent government notification on the addition of 128 new consumer items to the existing list of 132 items for paying market committee fee.
Sumesh Sharma, the president of the mandal, said here today that the traders who were paying market fee on 132 items would now pay the same on 259 consumer items, including raw material and finished consumable items, which would ultimately lead to price rise and corruption, besides harassment to the trading community.
He said the government had sought objections on the revised market fee items’ list but the state veopar mandal sought revocation of this notification in the larger interest of consumers and traders.
The mandal president said the traders are paying one to five per cent market fees on the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee Board (APMCB) barriers in the state. Sharma pleaded that in Punjab and Haryana, the APMCB was collecting market committee fee only on a few selected agricultural products in local mandis and market yards. However, the HP Government has declared the whole state as a market yard and the APMCB has opened its barriers on the inter-state borders in the state which have virtually become “dens of corruption”, he alleged.
“As per rule, the market committee fee is collected for providing basic amenities to the farmers, sellers and buyers in the mandi or market yard but in Himachal, the basic purpose is not being fulfilled,” he lamented.
“Earlier, traders who have borne the brunt of the pandemic were also experiencing a drastic fall in their annual turnover due to the rising trend of online shopping, trade fairs and opening of shopping malls across the state but now they shall face the heat of the revised market committee fee structure,” he lamented.
He alleged that this fee was also being charged forcibly even on those items that were not included in the AMPCB’s list but the Agriculture Department authorities didn’t bother even after complaints were lodged several times by traders.