APMC Act and Agro land conversion rules became barriers to the farming activity in India for many decades. When the nation’s farmers lost their legitimate rights, only corrupt officials made huge money.
The intention of the Act was progressive in the beginning. When the president gave his assent there was no ‘yard vs area’ jurisdiction problem. Farmers were not restricted to sell only in the government market yards like APMCs. They had the clear freedom of movement.
Then APMC yards were converted as local bodies for the notified agro items and their licenses became local body licenses. Entire Panchayat system then became the agent of the APMC for all the notified agro produces. Rules were made to end the Panchayat licensing system so that there should not be two local body licenses or marketing systems for the notified items. APMCs started to charge license fee, user charges and turnover fees. Strict permit system for the transport was introduced even if the weekly return and yearly assessment were compelled on licensed traders.
BUT IN THE YEAR 1992 WHEN P V NARASIMHA RAO WAS THE PRIME MINISTER AND MANMOHAN SINGH WAS THE FINANCE MINISTER, 73RD AMENDMENT WAS MADE TO THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA WITH A NEW ELEVENTH SCHEDULE TO SUPPORT ‘PANCHAYATS’. ” STATE SUBJECTS LIKE AGRICULTURE, MARKETS, FAIRS ALSO CAME UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF ‘PANCHAYATS’!
WHEN BOTH STATE AND PANCHAYAT ARE CONSTITUTIONALLY GOVERNMENTS, CAN A STATE TAKE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE PANCHAYATS FOR THE BENEFIT OF A CREATED BODY? THEN WHICH IS THE REAL LICENSE? PANCHAYAT IS DIRECT FROM THE CONSTITUTION AND ANOTHER IS CREATED FROM THE RIGHTS OF THE STATE.
‘TWO LOCAL BODY LICENSES’ BECAME A COMPULSION FOR NOTIFIED FARM PRODUCTS! APMC SURVIVED BUT ACTUALLY WHICH LICENSE HAS TO STAY?
During the GST voting time, the finance minister had clarified that India will become one economic market with the roll-out of the GST. A single economic market is not possible when there is a separate state marketing Act. A slogan was inducted in the Karnataka Esugam website stating – ” one nation, one tax, one market “. So there was/is no chance of another market for any of the GST items. Although the APMC list was not modified, farm products notified under the GST become outside the purview of the APMC according to the above slogan. Is the Karnataka Esugam statement ‘ one nation, one tax, one market’ not a guarantee for at-least the GST listed items? If not, why it was said?
If there is neither APMC fee nor need of a permit for the interstate movement of agro products, is it not a discrimination when states compel them on their own people? What is the intention of the Article 303 of the Indian Constitution? States were formed for the benefit and development of the people who reside with in the boundaries of the state. If a state gives free movement to other states & foreign countries but compels licenses and permits for its own people, compels the place of business for its own people, levies tax-like market fees on the turnover of its own people – then the union government has no other way except to take necessary steps to save the agriculture, industry and business of the state.