Agri Business

Gujarat APMC workers fear lay-offs, seek pay-protection

Ahmedabad | Updated on September 23, 2020 Published on September 23, 2020

Madhya Pradesh mandis on strike from today

The latest reforms in the agri-commodity trade introduced by the Centre has created a flutter among the employees of Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) fearing large-scale job-losses. A demand for pay-protection for the administrative staff gets louder as the axe falls on the APMCs.

Raising concerns, Vishal Panchani, Secretary of Gujarat Market Committee Employees Union, said that with reduced incomes for APMCs, the administrative staff may either have to face an axe or a pay cut. The union has sought a pay protection for the employees and also demanded absorption of field staff and inspectors in the State administration.

“There are about 3,000 such employees associated with 224 APMCs across the State. They are all permanent employees of the yard. Now as we know that the jurisdiction of the APMCs has drastically come down to only its physical boundaries, the revenues are surely going to get hurt. In such a scenario, employees will be the first to face the impact,” said Panchani.

The Association has also written to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking employment and financial protection for the employees.

According to Panchani, APMCs are empowered to spend up to 40 per cent of its total revenues. “Considering the approximate ₹300 crore of annual revenues for all the APMCs put together in the State, the wage bill is not more than ₹140 crore annually. The State government can absorb the employees and put their services at the disposal of various departments. At least their employment gets secured,” he said.

Our Indore correspondent adds: Meanwhile, agriculture traders all over Madhya Pradesh have planned to go on indefinite strike from September 24 seeking a reduction in mandi fee.

“The State government should immediately reduce the mandi fee that is charged from traders on the purchase of agriculture produce to 0.5 per cent from the current 1.5 per cent,” said Gopaldas Agrawal, president, Madhya Pradesh Sakal Anaj Dalhan Tilhan Mahasangh Samiti.

He said trading of commodities in about 270 mandis in the State will remain shut until the government accepts demands of the Samiti.

The shutdown announcement comes at a time when kharif oilseed crop is expected to hit mandis in the State — the largest producer of soyabean in the country.

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Published on September 23, 2020
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