Commission agents end strike as Haryana govt bows to demands
Thousands of paddy growers in Haryana heaved a sigh of relief as commission agents ended their strike, resuming procurement operations in most mandis.
The strike ended after a delegation of commission agents met with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his deputy Dushyant Chautala late Monday, and procurement operations resumed early Tuesday.
Under fire due to the strike the Haryana government on Monday night announced that the market fee and rural development fee on cotton and Barik Dhan (a paddy variety) will be reduced from 2% each to half a percent. An official spokesperson said the dues for luster loss and other outstanding payments to be made to the commission agents will also be released soon.
Also Read: Farm bills, sifting the grain from the chaff
Talking to Hindustan Times, Ashok Gupta, the president of Haryana State Anaj Mandi Arhtiya Association said, “We have ended the strike as the government has agreed to accept most of the demands and resumed procurement on Tuesday morning.”
Gupta said that the government’s decision to reduce the market fee and rural development fee has come as a big relief to the commission agents, traders and the farmers, as this will ensure that most of the produce is procured inside the mandi.
However, procurement operations did not resume in several grain markets as commission agents said that they needed written assurance from the government to end the confusion.
“Procurement could not be resumed as the traders did not come to procure paddy (Basmati) by Tuesday evening. It will take a day or two to resume procurement in all mandis in the state,” said Naresh Kumar, a commission agent who works at the Kurukshetra grain market.
But officials of the Haryana State Agriculture Marketing department said that they have released the payments of the deductions made from the commission of the ahrtias (commission agents) for luster loss during wheat procurement season.
“The meeting (with ahrtias and rice mill owners) ended on a positive note. All the issues have been sorted out and both ahrtias and rice-millers have agreed to end their protest. The written notification will be issued by Tuesday evening,” a senior officer of Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board.