Karnataka Government Withdraws BJP’s Proposed Amendment to APMC Act

On July 6, 2023, the Karnataka government introduced a bill to revoke the amendment made to the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulations and Development) Act.  

The amendment, which allowed free market operations and reduced the control of APMCs (Agricultural Produce Market Committees) over agricultural produce, was introduced by the BJP government in 2020. It was one of the three contentious farm laws that faced strong opposition from farmers in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. As a result, Prime Minister Narendra Modi withdrew the act within a year. The same amendment was later implemented by the Karnataka government from 2019 to 2023 but has now been withdrawn. 

Karnataka’s Congress government justifies its decision by referring to the repeal of a similar law by the central government in 2021. According to the government, the previous amendment left farmers trading outside the market yards vulnerable to exploitation by traders due to a lack of regulatory mechanisms. The online trading platform in the market yards provided competitive and fair prices for farmers, which was lacking in the open market. The government also highlighted the settlement of disputes, market data collection, and employment opportunities provided by the APMCs as reasons for reverting to the old act. 

The decision is likely to receive a mixed response from the farming community, but the trading community is expected to welcome it as it would restore the full force of the APMCs. Overall, the Karnataka government’s decision to withdraw the APMC amendment aims to address farmers’ concerns, ensure fair prices for their produce, and establish a regulatory mechanism. 

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