Commodities

Bombay High Court stays collection of supervision fees by Maharashtra APMCs

Our Commodities Desk June 24 | Updated on June 24, 2021

‘APMCs should do the needful such as appointing separate staff for supervision’

The Bombay High Court has stayed the collection of supervision fees at agricultural produce marketing committee yards (APMCs) across Maharashtra and restrained the State Government from taking any action against traders who are yet to make payments towards the fees.

High court judges Justices KK Tated and R I Chagla issued the stay while asking the State government to file its response by July 15 to a writ petition filed by 78 onion traders of Chandvad APMC in Nashik district. The case will be taken up again on July 30.

Arguing for the petitioner traders, advocate Rameshwar Totala said that supervision fees were collected at Maharashtra APMCs without any market infrastructure being provided to the traders.

Staff appointment

The traders had moved the High Court after the APMC issued a notice to them for recovery of the supervision fees. The advocate pointed to a Supreme Court order and another one by the Bombay High Court that the State Government had to appoint staff to supervise the market areas and grading of produce is part of such supervisory work.

Totala also urged the High Court the either set aside or stay till the next hearing the demand notice sent by the APMC. While granting the prayer of the petitioners, the judges said that any action can be taken against the traders only if they don’t pay the market fees.

APMCs in Maharashtra collect market fees based on a percentage against the total volume of sale. They also levy similar charges as supervision fees. In the case of traders’ failure to pay the supervision fees, the APMCs go for recovery, including the produce brought for sale.

‘Issue settled’

The traders’ argument is the Supreme Court has settled the issue on market and supervisory fees and hence, APMCs should do the needful such as appointing separate staff for supervision.

Nashik accounts for nearly 10 per cent of the 26 million tonnes of onions producers in the country and at least 1.65 lakh tonnes of onion are traded at Chandvad APMC annually.

Published on June 24, 2021

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