Karnataka will repeal APMC Act amendments at the earliest, says Siddaramaiah

In 2020, the BJP amended the APMC law, lifting restrictions on sales outside notified markets and yards by removing penalties on traders.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presenting the budget
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presenting the budget
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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday, February 16, announced that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “anti-farmer” amendments to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act would be repealed. The Bill has already been passed in the Assembly and is set to be introduced in the Council. 

Presenting the budget for 2024-25, Siddaramaiah said that the government would also bring the support price scheme for farmers under a statutory framework, one of the demands raised by farmer unions who set out on a protest march to New Delhi, earlier this week. The farmers have been urging the Union government to fix a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops. A meeting between the farmer union leaders and the Union government had failed to yield any result, following which the farmers started the agitation. The Haryana government had blocked the roads leading to the national capital and fired tear gas on the protesting farmers, leading to clashes. The Madhya Pradesh police had arrested scores of farmers marching to New Delhi from Karnataka’s Hubballi, in Bhopal. Siddaramaiah had written to the Madhya Pradesh government to release the arrested farmers immediately. 

Also read: Siddaramaiah urges MP govt to immediately release arrested farmers heading for Delhi protest

In the wake of farmers’ protest in 2020 against the Union government over the Farm Law bills, the then Karnataka government led by the BJP, amended the APMC law by lifting restrictions on sales outside notified markets and yards by removing penalties on traders. Farmers have been urging the government to go back to the old system, which allows APMCs to regulate the sale of crops.

Siddaramaiah also announced the enactment of new legislation to set up the Marketing Development Assistance Fund, where financially sound APMCs would contribute money. The fund would be used for the development of APMCs undergoing financial stress. 

The Karnataka government had formed a select committee to review the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation and Development) (Amendment) Bill. The panel visited four APMCs in the state–Kolar, Shivamogga, Kalaburagi and Raichur. According to reports, only traders in Raichur favoured the amendments introduced by the BJP. The committee has submitted a report with 27 recommendations to the Karnataka government.

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