Chandigarh, Jun 25 (PTI) The Congress party on Friday slammed the Haryana government's move to increase the market fee levied on all varieties of paddy.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala demanded that the decision to increase the market fee levied be rolled back immediately.
On June 22, the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board had increased the levy of market fee from 0.5 per cent to 2 per cent on ad-valorem basis on the agricultural produces comprising -- Basmati, 1509 (paddy variety), DB and Sarbati paddy, that is on all varieties of paddy including PR variety.
'The government's decision to increase the market fee and its proposal to increase the HRDF (rural development fund cess) on paddy is an anti-farmer diktat,” he said in a statement.
He said after this decision, the farmers of Haryana will be compelled, either to sell off their crops in the neighbouring states' agricultural mandis or they will have to sell paddy to the traders at a price cheaper by at least Rs 100-150 per quintal.
The Congress party's chief spokesperson further said that last year 42.5 lakh metric tonnes of Basmati & 1509 paddy and 56 lakh metric tonnes of parmal rice variety was procured in the state of Haryana.
He said the decision to hike the fee will cause additional economic burden not only on farmers, but also on arhtiyas (commission agents), labourers working in grain markets and as well as on rice millers.
'The farmers will either have to sell their paddy in neighbouring states like Punjab-Delhi etc, where the market fee is less, which would be a time consuming proposition as well as the farmer will have to pay the cost of transportation, which will increase his cost,' he said.
Surjewala said that if Haryana farmers go to the mandis of other states to sell their crops, then they will not only suffer financial loss, but at the same time the state government will also generate less revenue as not being able to collect the tax.
He said that paddy crop is grown in abundance in large parts of the state including Yamunanagar, Kaithal, Ambala, Jind, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Panipat, Karnal, Sonipat districts. 'On one hand, the government insists that the grain markets are not being abolished, but the decisions being taken by the state government in the name of reducing losses of Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board (HSAMB) are clearly indicative of the government's ill intentions to eliminate mandis and push the farm business to the big private players.
'Haryana's paddy will be sold outside Haryana's mandis due to increase in market fee, which will have a direct impact on the state's mandis and they will reach the brink of ruin. It has also become clear from the decision of the government that it intends to eliminate both traders and farmers,” he said. PTI SUN MKJ