Agri Business

Edible oil industry expresses buoyancy after key reforms in the APMC Act, ECA

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on May 18, 2020

Atul Chaturvedi, President, SEA

It required a coronavirus to know the futility of draconian agri laws, says Atul Chaturvedi

What has made the edible oil players buoyant in the Covid-19 times is the latest agriculture reforms adopted by the government following the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to its members, the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) has stated that the COVID-19 outbreak has galvanised the policymakers to adopt long-overdue reforms in the agriculture sector. The latest decisions on the APMC Act, Essential Commodities Act, among others is clear evidence that the political class and the bureaucracy are jointly gunning for agriculture reforms to 'Reboot India' for a post-Covid world.

 

"Covid-19 has once again galvanised our Policy Makers, and we are seeing serious efforts at carrying out reforms, which have stymied Agricultural Growth and Trade in our country for ages. We are seeing a new sense of urgency and open-mindedness among Government officials to take Stakeholders into confidence," Atul Chaturvedi, President, SEA wrote in a letter to the SEA members on Monday.

 

Terming the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) and Storage Control Order, draconian, Chaturvedi stated that SEA has been requesting the government for past several years to do away with the law.

Welcoming the move to scrap the ECA in oil and oilseed sector, Chaturvedi stated that those were anti-farmer laws which had "stymied the growth of Oilseed Cultivation. "It needed a Corona to convince the futility of this law to Policy Makers," he added.

He also lauded the government for pushing reforms in APMC Acts of the individual states.

"It (APMC Act) is downright anti-farmer and maybe anti-fundamental rights as well, if we compel farmers to sell only through the APMC. In this age of internet and smartphones, the farmers have become smarter than us and cannot be taken for a ride," he said, adding that this long-pending reform has finally been agreed.

However, he reiterated the need for a National Mission on Oilseed to achieve self-sufficiency in tje edible oil sector. Notably, India is currently dependent on imports to meet its consumable oil requirements.

"We were expecting National Mission On Oilseeds to be launched in line with our Prime Minister's clarion call to work towards Self Sufficiency in all fields of life (Atmanirbhar Bharat). It was a little disappointing to see no mention of the same in the announcements made by Union Finance Minister," stated Chaturvedi.

Published on May 18, 2020

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