Commission agents end strike, resume paddy procurement after Haryana govt accepts demands
Thousands of paddy growers in Haryana heaved a sigh of relief as commission agents ended their four-day strike, resuming procurement in mandis (grain markets) on Tuesday.
Haryana Mandi Arhtiya Association Ashok Gupta said, “We have ended the strike as the government agreed to accept most of our demands. Procurement resumed on Tuesday morning.”
A delegation of commission agents met chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his deputy Dushyant Chautala on Monday evening after which the government announced that the market fee and rural development fee on cotton and barik dhan, a paddy variety, will be reduced from 2% each to 0.5%.
An official spokesperson said the dues for lustre loss and other outstanding payments will be made to the commission agents soon.
Gupta said the decision to reduce the market fee and rural development fee has come as a relief to commission agents, traders and the farmers as this will ensure that most of the produce is procured inside mandis.
He said this will help private traders procure basmati varieties from farmers in the mandis with the help of arhtiyas who will get the commission and will also be able to get payment from buyers according to the traditional system.
AGENTS AWAIT WRITTEN WORD
However, procurement did not resume in several grain markets as commission agents insisted on a written communication from the government to end the confusion.
“Procurement could not be resumed at some places as the traders did not come to buy basmati till Tuesday evening, It will take a day or two to resume operations in all mandis of the state,” said Naresh Kumar, a commission agent in the Kurukshetra grain market.
State agriculture marketing officials said they have released payments of deductions made from the commission of the arhtiyas for lustre loss in the wheat procurement season. “The meeting (with arhtiyas and rice mill owners) ended on a positive note and all issues were resolved. Both have agreed to end their protest but the written notification will be issued by Tuesday evening,” said a senior officer of the Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board.