Govt works on Bill to end inter-state barriers
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In an attempt to circumvent the fragmented domestic agricultural market and inter-state barriers against the trade of agricultural produce in the country contributing to the supply side shocks at times of high food inflation, the Central government has decided to use the powers granted to it under Entry 42 of Union List to enact a legislation for the "development and regulation of inter-state trade and commerce of agricultural produce".
The Agriculture Ministry has drafted a legislation titled "The Agricultural Produce Inter-State Trade and Commerce (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2012" that seeks to integrate the domestic markets for farm produce into a single national market.
The Bill will provide a single-point registration for all inter-state agricultural trade operations of any entity completely removing the need for multiple registration in each state for their agricultural trade. For this purpose, the Bill envisages to create an Agricultural Produce Inter-State Trade and Commerce Development and Regulatory Authority (APISTCDRA) that will regulate the inter-state trade in agricultural items, which include all produce "whether processed or unprocessed".
According to the draft Bill, all commission agents, traders, brokers engaged in "inter-state trade" of the agricultural produce will mandatorily have to obtain a "certificate of registration" from the Authority to become eligible for the inter-state trade in the agricultural produce.
In return, the holder of this certificate "shall not be required to take any other registration or authorisation for this purpose from any other authority or market committee established under any law for the time being in force" and can engage himself in purchase and sale of any agricultural produce in "any part of the country for the purpose of inter-state trade and commerce".
It specifies that holder of the certificate "shall not be liable to pay any market fee to any authority or statutory market committee" for the sale and purchase of agricultural produce which has been purchased and brought to any state from outside under the inter-state trade.
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