Gandhinagar, Sep 25 (PTI) Opposition Congress on Friday staged a walkout from the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, seeking withdrawal of a bill introduced by the BJP government in the state to amend certain provisions of the existing APMCs in the state.
Although the government tried hard to convince the opposition that the bill has nothing to do with the farm reform bills passed recently by the Parliament, around 40 Congress MLAs walked out of the House just before voting on it began.
The Gujarat Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Bill was passed with majority vote on the last day of the monsoon session of the assembly.
'This bill will pave the way for creation of monopoly of multinational companies in our APMCs. The BJP government wants to give permission to the MNCs to loot farmers and people. This bill will eventually destroy the market yards. We want the government to withdraw it,' Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani said before walking out with party MLAs.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel clarified in the House that this bill was completely different from what was introduced and passed by the Parliament recently.
Under this proposed law, traders holding licence issued by an Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) can now purchase agricultural produce from any market yard in Gujarat. Now, a trader registered with one APMC and holding licence of that market yard can purchase agricultural produce from any APMC in the state using one licence, which is barred under the present law.
Another amendment allows traders to buy agricultural produce directly from farmers by visiting their fields.
Traders will not be required to pay any market fee to the APMCs if they buy directly from farmers, stated the ordinance.
The bill proposes to increase farmers' representation in market committees from present eight members to 10 members.
'It also provides that no elected person shall be Chairman or a vice Chairman of market committee continuously for more than two years,' the bill document said. PTI PJT PD NP NP