Bengal passes bill for single window service in agricultural marketing

Kolkata, March 2 (IANS) The West Bengal Assembly on Thursday amended the West Bengal Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Bill, intending to bring in a single window service in agricultural marketing by providing a common license for the wholesale buyers to buy any farm produce.

It will ensure farmers with their excess produce will not have to run door to door to sell their crops.

Tabling the bill, state agricultural marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta said too many licenses were hampering business and so there was a need to lay down a mechanism for a single window service.

The legislation empowers the government to levy market fees on transaction of agricultural produce. The rate would be two per cent for fibres, cereals, pulses, oilseeds, oils and fruits. The market fees for tobacco would be six per cent.

The new law will also be helpful for Bengal farmers who wish to export their products in other states or countries. Now, even in case of excess farm yield, the additional produce could be sold with ease, with an increase in the number of wholesale buyers.

The legislation would also bolster inter-state trade and commerce with regard to agricultural produce and enable the peasants to sell it nationally.