HP urges Centre for implementation of APMC Act

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Shimla, Jul 2 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the central government to ensure the implementation of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act to prevent the fleecing of the horticulturists of the state who were being charged eight per cent commission by traders in the Azadpur Mandi.

"The state government would on its part try to evolve a political consensus among the party of the state and create the necessary environment for the implementation of the APMC Act," Horticulture Minister Narendra Bragta said during his meeting with Union External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at New Delhi today.

"Although the model APMC Act has been passed, but its implementation has been withheld by the Delhi Government under pressure from the powerful business lobby who are exploiting the fruit growers by charging eight per cent commission from them instead of buyers as per provision of the act," he said.

The respective state governments had repeatedly taken up the matter with Delhi Government and various meetings had been held on the issue, but to no avail, he added.

He said the recently held conference of the horticulture ministers of the hilly states at Shimla had also adopted an unanimous resolutions on this issue, urging the Delhi Government to safeguard the interest of the fruit growers instead of big business men.

"But so far no positive action has been taken in this case," he said.

The Himachal Minister said the issue had also been raised with the Union Agriculture Ministry and the central government was already aware of the issue.

"The hilly states of the country have decided to take a united stand on the long pending demands with the central government and would forcefully plead its case on various issues," he added.

He also demanded separate policies for hill states keeping in view of the limited revenue resources and tough geographical and topographical conditions.

UNI AS PS MMS1724

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