Pune: Market Yard Traders Call for Shut Down to Protest Cess Charges

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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, August 22, 2020: Amid the festival season, traders of the Market Yard have called a symbolic shut down on August 25 (Tuesday) to demand revision of agricultural commodities in the market premises and cancellation of the maintenance cess charges.

The traders’ bandh on Tuesday has been backed up by the Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Marketyard Aade Association which controls the sale of greengrocery. While the Poona Merchants Chamber manages the sale of grains and pulses in the market.

Speaking to Punekarnews.in, secretary of Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Marketyard Adate Association Rohan Satish said, “Vegetable market, fruits, onion-potato section, banana, paan market in the market yard will continue to function regularly. However, the sale of pulses and grains won’t be allowed on Tuesday. We want the government to nullify their decision of applying cess charges and create a level playing field for all working in this trade. Instead, the Central and State Governments should work on improving and modernising the facilities at Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) as they still are the major players in this trade.”

There will be no regulation on the sale of agricultural commodities outside the market premises. Agricultural Products in the Market Yard will be regulated, and cess and maintenance charges will be levied from the market traders. To reverse the decision, traders in the state have called a symbolic shutdown on Tuesday (August 25).

Although the Aadte Association has shown support for the bandh, it has been decided to continue the regular operation of vegetables, fruits, onion-potato department, banana and paan, informed Vilas Bhujbal, president of Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Marketyard Adte Association.

“Coronavirus has disrupted market activities. Vegetables are perishable. Even if the market is closed for one day, there are losses. The organization will continue to support the movement for deregulation of agricultural commodities from the traders”, he said.

“The government has levied high cess charges on traders of the Market Yard, but if a trader is selling outside the market, there are no charges levied upon him. This has made business expensive here. We demand to eliminate the cess charges”, said Walchand Sancheti, member of Poona Merchant Chamber.