Delhi Courts Order To Stay Commission Charging From Himachal Apple Growers Historic – Bragta

Shimla: Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi government and Azadpur Agriculture Produce Marketing Crop. (APMC) to enforce a 10 year old law enacted by the Delhi government of putting an embargo of charging of commissions from farmers for selling their produce in Azadpur fruit and vegetable market, something which the BJP government here has claimed credit for.

In an interim order to a writ petition filed by HP Agricultural Marketing Board (HPAMB), the Delhi High court in an interim order passed on 2nd June has asked the Delhi government and the Azadpur Agriculture Produce Marketing Corp (APMC) to enforce the amended byelaws —- and not charge commission from sellers.

Speaking to the media here, Narinder Bragta, horticulture minister said, “APMC amended its byelaws in 1999, wherein charging of commission by the Azadpur fruit merchants was to be paid by the purchasers and not the sellers.” Prior to 1999, under law charging of charging from sellers was permissible.

“Even though the new law was notified in Jan, 2000,” he said, “but despite pleading before the Delhi government to enforce the new law several times, the Azadpur fruit merchants continued to illegally charge 6 % to 8 % commissions from apple producers from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and other states.”

With the state unable to move the Delhi government and APMC, it was at the behest of Himachal government that HPAMB moved the Delhi High Court on 18th August, 2009 on the issue.

It was in response to a counter affidavit by Delhi government and APMC which “stated that commission is continued to be charge from the sellers only because of past practice” that Justice S Muralidhar of Delhi High Court in his order directed them to enforce the amended by laws and not charge commission from sellers anymore.

“The Delhi High Court staying charging of commission from sellers is a historic decision for the country’s farming community who sell their produce in Azadpur, which is one of the largest fruit and vegetable markets in Asia,” said Bragta.

The minister said that it was BJP governments in Himachal and Delhi who were responsible for changing the law in 1999 but it was laxity of the Virbhadra Singh led congress government from 2003-07 and Sheila Dixit’s congress government is Delhi that allowed fleecing of the farming community of crores of rupees in illegal commissions.

The minister asked opposition congress members to join issue in helping to recover the huge commission amounts from the Delhi fruit merchants that were collected over a ten year period.

Hailing the courts’ decision, Bragta said, “our governments stand has been vindicated.”

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

6 Comments

  • This is fantastic achievement by the present govt. I recall the issue was taken up in the previous BJP regime in 1998, however, ever since the Govt changed, the issue was put on the back burner by the Congress govt both in Delhi, led by Sheila Dixit and Himachal, led by Virbhadra Singh. It is noteworthy that the Congress which had a massive stronghold in the apple growing areas of HP actually did nothing for the betterment of apple growers.
    The decision is the result of the relentless efforts of the Horticulture Minister & his grit to take on the powerful lobby of Delhi commission agents. Mr Bragta has been able to achive what could not be imagined few years back. The decision has not only being welcomed by apple growers in HP but that of Uttrakhand and J&K as well.

    Great Job Well Done!

  • Great ! Congratulations and thanks to all people who fought relentlessly with capital city’s elite power. We must learn many things from this episode. Himachal must assert its voice effectively at national platforms. We need not be afraid of big states as none is extending any special favour to us. Punjab has not given us our due whatever be the government. States’ rights are primary and no one should take advantage of our simplicity. Center must also compensate us for protecting natural wealth of forest and natural habitat. It must extend special packages before the emergence of situations like J &K and naxalism.

  • This is realy stupidity ,fruits and vegetables price will going to rise atomatically by enforcing this law,

  • the decison of not charging commission from the growers is not wise decison because if buyer has to pay the commission then the price of vegetable & fruit products should go up . moreover mostly people bring
    products to azad pur mandi for selling are basically not growers they are all
    thakedars.they take advance money from commission agents to buy the crop
    from the growers.now when commission agent not charging commission from thakedars ,why should commission agent give advance to thakedars
    without getting advance how can thakedar buy the crop from the growers.

  • It is a much awaited decision nd the fruit growers of jnk nd himachal would be benifited by this decision.the commission agents of delhi were opposing nd creating hurdles for its enforcement it is a great job who so ever worked on it.this law is already in force in some markets

  • one more mockery !

    who will stand out to see if sellers are allowed to sell without commission ? will Bragta ji stay there 24×7 to see if the rule of law is implemented or not?

    childish indeed, one can not eradicate traditional business practices in highly commercialized places like Azadpur Mandi with mere press statements !

    In Fact many fruit growers themselves sell their produce to mediators or arhtiyas just to get rid from pathetic roads, non availability of labour and transportation….The commission agents survive because of the poor infrastructural facilitations and lack of proper support by state government!

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