Jharkhand industry body protests hike in market fees

April 14th, 2008 - 4:33 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, April 14 (IANS) Jharkhand’s industry body Monday threatened a state-wide stir over the proposed Agriculture Produce Marketing Board (Amendment) bill 2007, which doubles the market fees on agriculture products. The state assembly passed the bill in the recent budget session. It has been sent to governor Syed Sibte Razi for his approval.

The bill proposes to increase the market fees on agriculture products from the existing one percent to two percent. It also empowers the Agriculture Marketing Board to issue transport permits.

“The bill will bring back licence permit raj in the state. The agriculture marketing board officials will use their power to issue the transport permit, which will only increase corruption,” Manoj Naredi, president of the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI), said at a press conference here.

On the market fee hike, he said: “In the last five years, the state government earned Rs.116 crores (Rs.1.16 billion) from market fees on 28 agricultural products. There is no need to increase the market fees.”

Naredi said the proposed bill would increase the woes of the farmers and consumers.

“The hike in market fees will increase the prices and the transport permit would create problems for transporting agricultural products to the marketing board.”

The FJCCI threatened to launch a statewide strike Aug 17 if the proposed bill was not rolled back.

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