The nerve centre for fruits and vegetable supplies in the Capital, the Azadpur agriculture produce market, will be on a daylong strike on Thursday.
As a result, fresh fruits and a handful of vegetables will not arrive at the neighbourhood greengrocers' for a day. Traders, mainly distributors of fruits, have decided to strike work in protest of a recent Delhi High Court ruling that compels them to levy a 6 percent commission on purchasers retailers and in many cases ordinary buyers thereby jacking up the prices of their service.
Until now, this tax was being imposed on the farmers for availing of the services of distributors in the market a “facility" that got farmers their clients.
In peak season, around 600 trucks of apple arrive at Azadpur from Himachal Pradesh alone every day. “Azadpur has been classified as an MNI or market of national importance. So a day's strike will impact fruit supplies across the country,” said Brahm Yadav, head of Delhi Agriculture Marketing Board.
Being an MNI, it is yet to firm up rules of commission to distributors. But in its previous status as a vegetable wholesale market, it had a set of rules that meant to levy the said commission on the purchaser and not the farmer. But that rule was not implemented.
Farmers from Himachal Pradesh approached the court, demanding the rules be implemented, to which the court agreed.
“The distributors just want to show what effect their strike can have on supplies. Loads of fruits will arrive but won’t get distributed in the markets. So when the next consignment comes the next day, there will be a problem,” Yadav said.