Agri Business

Navi Mumbai APMC faces flak for partially closing market

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on April 10, 2020

Management has no concrete strategy to handle crisis, say stakeholders

There is a sense of uncertainty among the traders, transporters and other stakeholders in the Navi Mumbai wholesale market, which is run by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC). The APMC management has been accused of not having a concrete strategy for operating the market in times of crises.

On Thursday, the APMC management announced the closing of the fruits, vegetables, and onion and potato markets from Saturday until further orders. However, the grains, masala and oil markets will continue to operate.

Maharashtra’s Department of Cooperation holds administrative control over the APMC — the market yards managed by the Committee are present in all the major districts of the State.

Nilesh Veera, Director of the Navi Mumbai APMC, told BusinessLine that the APMC management does not seem to have any strategy for running the market amid crises.

‘Knee-jerk reaction’

On Thursday, there was a TV news clip that one of the traders had tested positive for coronavirus and hospitalised. The trader, who had a guest at home who had returned from the US, had closed shop the day the lockdown was announced, but no authority looked into these details. As soon as the news clip was aired, the head loaders stopped working. That was a knee-jerk reaction which led to the decision of closing down the fruit, vegetables and onion and potato markets, he said. Veera, who represents the grain traders in the market, pointed out that the APMC notification announced the closure of the three markets with no information on when they would be reopened. Ideally, the management must mention a time period, he said.

The grain markets will function as usual on Friday and Saturday but only delivery of pending orders will be done, he added. This is being done to ensure the supply chain of grains is maintained in Mumbai and Thane. Any decision on closing the grain market will likely be taken on Saturday evening.

There is no shortage of grains nor are the traders resorting to hoarding or black marketing as reported in some sections of the press, emphasised Veera.

Anil Chavan, Secretary to the APMC, said that while the traders may hold varied opinions on keeping the markets open, all the decisions had been taken keeping in mind the well-being of the people.

Published on April 10, 2020

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