KADAPA: Agricultural Market Committees (AMCs) in Andhra Pradesh have revived after Supreme Court has stayed the centre’s new agricultural laws. 25 check posts of 13 AMCs in Kadapa district that had been closed last year have started functioning from March 25 and are collecting market cess.
This has come as a major relief as, until recently, agricultural market committees had been unable to pay even minimum wages to their staff, because no cess was being collected on purchase and sale of agricultural produce. With renewed collection of cess, marketing department officials are a happy lot. The 13 AMCs in the district collect cess on agricultural products and transport of livestock and their produce passing through their respective check posts.
Agricultural Market Committees were suffering huge losses after the central government abolished collection of cess on purchase and sale of agricultural and livestock produce under the new agricultural laws. AMCs charged one per cent user charges on transactions made only in market yards. However, not all farmers come to market committees, as most trade happened outside the AMCs. Market committees do not have power to levy cess on transactions outside their premises. As a result, revenue of the marketing department fell sharply. But the situation has improved after the Supreme Court stay paved the way for collection of cess.
Kadapa region marketing joint director Puthalapattu Sudhakar told Deccan Chronicle that market committees have resumed market cess collections. They can also generate revenue by levying cess on seasonal sale of agricultural produce outside the market committees.
Speaking to DC, Marketing Department assistant director Budigi Himasaila said last year, they were unable to reach their target of collecting Rs. 14 crore cess. Instead, they collect Rs. 5–5.5 crore during the last financial year. Now all check posts have reopened as per verbal instructions of higher marketing officials. She said they are hoping to generate good income from AMCs this year.