INDIA - The proposed setting up of a unified national market for agri commodities in close coordination with NITI and State Governments, the Union Budget 2015-16 has set the ball rolling for sweeping reforms, the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham) said in a statement recently.
The proposal to set up such a market will promote seamless movement of agri produce from farm to fork and accelerate the growth of the agriculture sector.
An efficient agri marketing infrastructure is crucial to facilitate effective price discovery and transaction functions of the rural economy, Assocham adds. Seamless inter-state movement of agri produce and state of the art infrastructure, coupled with GST, can eventually lead to enhanced price-realization by farmers, giving them the opportunity to participate in the market beyond the current structures.
The chamber also recommended adoption of uniform regulations by states for the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and similar taxation system which are key prerequisites for creation of the unified market.
Delisting of fruits and vegetables which are major contributors of food inflation from the list of APMC schedule of regulated commodities and development of e-marketing mechanism to integrate and link banking, storage and transportation which will lead to fair and real-time price discovery for farmers, the chamber recommendations adds.
Assocham also opined that policy support in terms of land and facilitation to provide basic support infrastructure to private players for creation of alternative, parallel and efficient markets like Terminal Market complexes or private mandis.
The national agriculture market initiative is a bold step towards empowering the farmer with opportunities and choices in the marketplace, which will enable inclusive development of rural India.