New Delhi: After the three new central laws that allow barrier-free trading of agriculture commodities across the country, the Centre has asked states to reduce the mandi tax to 0.5%, so that the market yards controlled by agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) become competitive.
As a first step, at least the market fees on the electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform must be reduced, the Centre has told the states.
“Ideally, there should be no market fees on e-NAM after the new laws. However, since the e-NAMs were created to bring mandis under one platform, the market fees charged by mandis remained payable from its inception. Unless the states agree, the market fees cannot be waived off,” said a senior official of the agriculture ministry.
Mandi fees and other imposts are levied in the aggregate range of 1-2% in most of the states except in Punjab, which has 8% (market fee and rural development cess 4%, each). Haryana last month reduced the fees to 1% from 6% earlier. Rajasthan has reduced it to 2% from 3% after the Central laws came into force and it also passes on 0.25% of market fees to farmers if they trade on e-NAM portal.
In most of the states there is no market fee on fruits and vegetables and many had delisted these horticulture produce from APMC laws even before the Central laws.