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Rajasthan cuts mandi charge on sale, purchase of agri produce

Rajasthan government has partially rolled back the 2% farmer welfare fee on the sale and purchase of select agriculture produce, which was imposed on May 5 because of the protests from the agrarian community.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday directed that farm produce such as jowar, bajra, makka, jeera (cumin) and isabgol, should be charged 50 paise for every Rs 100 instead of the earlier stipulated fee of Rs 2.

Similarly, for agricultural produce such as oilseeds, pulses, and wheat on which the mandi tax of Rs 1.60 per Rs 100 was earlier fixed has now been revised to Re 1.

Wool has been exempted from the fee, whose receipts will go to a Farmers’ Welfare Fund that has been set up by the state government.

The CM took the decision to partially roll back the fee after holding a meeting with representatives of the state’s business bodies on Thursday. He also consulted his cabinet ministers, members of the legislative assembly (MLAs), members of Parliament (MPs) and entrepreneurs before taking the decision.

He said that the state government is aware of the problems being faced by the industries and traders due to the imposition of the farmer welfare fee amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak. The partial rollback in farmers’ fee is likely to give relief to businessmen and agro-processing industries related to food items, he added.

The desert state’s border districts such as Pratapgarh, Jhalawar, Banswara, Jalore, Sirohi, Kota, Baran, Bharatpur, Dhaulpur, and Alwar, would have lower farmers’ fee than neighbouring states and it would facilitate competitive state, Gehlot said.

Earlier, the mandi traders went on a five-day strike from May 6 in protest against the state government’s decision to impose a 2% farmer welfare fee under the Rajasthan Agriculture Produce Market Act, 1961 on the sale and purchase of farm produce.

Source: HindustanTimes