'Govt fails to provide fulltime officials'
Srinagar, July 20: Even as the government has created a good number of Terminal/Satellite Fruit & Vegetable Markets in the state, the business activities in these markets have remained low.
According to sources the government has “failed” to effectively implement the Agriculture Produce Market Regulation Act of 1997 and APMR Rules 2003 aimed to help promote business activities at Fruit and Sabzi Mandis in the state.
A number of Government Terminal/Satellite Fruit & Vegetable Markets were developed in J&K, by the Horticulture Planning & Marketing Department under a Government of India scheme.
Most of these Markets constructed in large areas at Narwal Jammu, Parimpora Srinagar, Sopore, Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Baramulla, Udhampur, Charar-e-Sharief, Handwara, Kupwara, Kathua, Akhnoor, Bishnah and Rajouri, are functional today.
In order to regulate these markets, the Government enacted Agriculture Produce Market Regulation Act of 1997 and APMR Rules 2003.
In light of the provisions of the Act, Chief Executive Officers were deputed for few Terminal/Satellite markets for a period of two years, sources said, adding that some of the CEOs have been assigned the job in addition to their own duties.
Apart from this, the job of Secretary, in few markets, was assigned to some officers of the department on selective basis, in addition to their own duties, they said.
Sources said since the Chief Executive Officers and the Secretaries were assigned the job in addition to their own duties, they could not come to the expectations of growers/traders and could not properly regulate these markets.”
Sources said for the past more than four years, Director Agriculture Marketing, as member Secretary of the State Agriculture Marketing Board has never bothered to convene meeting of the State Agriculture Marketing Board, which controls and governs these Mandis.
“All this has affected the Mandi activities,” they said.