Sell apple through open auction, traders warned

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 23

Traders will have to sell apple through open auction or their licence will be revoked. Sending out a clear and stern message to traders operating from its fruit and vegetable mandis in district Shimla and Kinnaur, APMC chairman Naresh Sharma said 'underhand' trading will not be allowed and the traders will have to function as per the rules laid out by the APMC Act.

The APMC issued a stern circular to the presidents of all arhtiya associations after it came to light that one trader at Parala mandi was selling apple 'underhand'. Surprisingly, some arhtiyas came out in his support and claimed that 90 per cent traders in the mandi were selling the produce 'underhand' with the consent of the farmer. They argued that they resort to this method to fetch good price for the growers when the market is low and there are not enough buyers around.

The trigger

  • The APMC issued the circular to arhtiya associations after it came to light that a trader at Parala mandi was selling apple 'underhand'
  • Surprisingly, some arhtiyas came out in his support and claimed that 90 per cent traders in the mandi were selling the produce 'underhand' with the consent of the farmer

The APMC, however, rejected their argument, saying that the APMC Act allows only open auction. "Traders can't say they are resorting to underhand selling with the consent of growers. They have to sell through open auction, no matter what the growers say," said Sharma.

Understandably, the growers are also against 'underhand' selling of their produce. "Underhand selling is both wrong and illegal. The traders should not indulge in this. No grower would want his produce to be sold in a secretive manner," said Harish Chauhan, an apple grower.

Already under stress due to massive slump in the market, the growers are facing many other issues in the market. They have been complaining that up to Rs 30 per box are being deducted as labour charges by the traders from them. "We have fixed labour charge at Rs 10 per box. We have noticed growers complaining about it in the media and social media but we have not received any official complaint. If there is a complaint, we will take action," he said.

He further said that the APMC was looking into deduction of bank charges by the traders from the growers. "We are looking into it," said Sharma.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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