Haryana chief minister Manoharlal Khattar is believed to have assured Basmati rice exporters that he will review the existing fees and other charges levied at mandis and a reasonable relief will be provided in the interest of rice industry and farmers.

In a meeting with the State’s rice exporters on Tuesday, Khattar also assured improvements in regulatory systems to check fees evasion and other malpractices because of the differential fees structure followed in the state.

Exporters told the chief minister that Basmati farmers pay 13 times more revenue to the government compared with what commission agents pay.

“We discussed about higher commission fixed for the commission agents and how previous governments have raised it from 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, putting excessive burden on farmers,” said Vijay Setia, a former president of All India Rice Exporters Association.

Citing Haryana has the highest taxes levied on Basmati paddy, exporters had earlier sought a reduction in mandi and other assorted fees from the current 6.5 per cent to make it at par with neighbouring States so that farmers get better prices. Kachi Aadhat/Dami (commission charged by commission agents), market fees and rural development cess put together make Haryana at the top in taxes compared to all other States, President of Haryana Rice Exporters Association (HREA) Sushil Jain said in a letter to the Chief Minister on July 31.

“High rate of market fees (levied by APMC mandis) and RD cess in Haryana has become a source of corruption as it has created unhealthy competition between fees-evaders and honest businessmen. It has become difficult for an honest industrialist to compete and run their business in Haryana,” Jain had said.

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