Mumbai, July 29: In an apparent bid to control co-operative sector, the ruling BJP is seeking amendment to the APMC Act, which will empower them to nominate four technical experts on every market committee.
The Co-operative department has decided to postpone the elections of all co-operative societies by six months. The Amendment Bill of Maharashtra Agriculture Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act 1963 was introduced in the Assembly last week and the House is yet to pass it.
Once the Bill passes through both the Houses of the State Legislature, the state government will get the power to appoint four special invitees on every Market Committee, whose income from fees levied and collection exceeds Rs 5 crore.
If the income in the immediate preceeding market year is upto Rs 5 crore, the state government will be able to appoint only two special invitees.
According to the Bill, the special invitees will be experts in the field of agriculture, agriculture processing, agriculture marketing, law, economics or commerce. Minister for Cooperative department Chandrakant Patil said, "we will try to pass the Bill in Assembly and Council House this week.
If the Council does not allow us to pass it in the ongoing monsoon session, the government will bring an ordinance in the first week of August."
BJP is in majority in the Lower House. However, it is in minority in Upper House and Congress has suggested few amendments in the Bill, where it plays the role of a formidable Opposition. I have submitted a few suggestions in the Bill and we will not allow the BJP to pass the Bill without a debate on it," Manikrao Thakre, Congress MLC said.
He claimed that the BJP can never win the elections of Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) and hence they chose a backdoor entry to control the APMC. He further claimed that the BJP will appoint members on APMC who are suggested by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from Nagpur.
"Obviously, the expert members will be associated with either the RSS or the BJP," Thakre said. Members of farmers society, traders, representatives of loaders and porters are the voters of APMC and Congress and NCP have hold on almost all the APMCs across the state.
The official decision of postponing elections will be announced within a couple of days.