“We’re working hard towards amending the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act. We have drafted the amendment bill and cabinet will examine it soon,” Mukesh Sharma, parliamentary secretary to CM Sheila Dikshit, told HT.
“The amendment will allow multi-national retailers to purchase produce from farmers directly. Current provisions don’t allow this direct link and demand the produce to be routed through Azadpur mandi,” he added.
The BJP, opposed to FDI in retail, said it would fight the move tooth and nail. “It would render lakhs in Azadpur mandi jobless,” said state party chief Vijendra Gupta.
But the government isn’t backing down. “We’re identifying land in Delhi’s peripheries as these chains need big chunks of land,” Sharma said. The government is looking at west Delhi’s Tikri Khud area as one such area.
“After Goa, Delhi’s per capita income ( Rs. 1.87 lakh) is the highest in India. We also conducted a survey and found that most Delhiites want these supermarkets to set up shop,” Sharma said.
With PTI inputs