Commission agents at Gultekdi call off strike

The strike called by commission agents at Gultekdi market ended on the sixth day after representatives of their associations and government officials held a meeting on Thursday. The issue pertaining to the rate of commission, however, remains to be resolved with Maharashtra State Marketing Board firm on 6 per cent commission and the agents declaring that they will continue with the earlier rates when the markets reopen on Friday.

A final decision on the commission rate will be taken by the state agriculture ministry after studying a report submitted to it by the marketing board officials based on the discussions in Thursday's meeting.

"Several issues were discussed in the meeting. The situation is different at various APMCs across the state. The representatives said as these parameters change depending on area and situation, there should not be a uniform commission rate throughout the state. We have prepared a report and will submit it to the state government, which will take the final call. As of now, the association leaders have agreed to call off the strike," said Kishor Toshniwal, Managing Director of the Maharashtra State Marketing Board.

Toshniwal said the board was bound to implement the government circular according to which a commission of 6 per cent should be charged by agents at the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC). "Non-complying agents will be penalised," warned Toshniwal. Shivlal Bhosale, president of the Marketyard Commission Agents' Association, said: "We will continue charging the old commission rates 6 per cent for onion-potato, 8 per cent for other vegetables and fruits and 10 per cent for flowers. We do not agree with the government's decision to implement a 1977 circular now. We can't sustain our business at 6 per cent commissions."

APMC serves Notice on 11 agents

The APMC has issued show-cause notices to 11 commission agents, including president of the agent association, operating at Gultekdi market for allegedly obstructing the alternative buying and selling system set up at the market by it during the strike period. B J Deshmukh, MD of Pune APMC, said the agents had been asked to reply to the notices within seven days on why they shouldn't be suspended. "These agents threatened the farmers and buyers who participated in the buying and selling activity during the strike period and obstructed the activities," said Deshmukh. The eleven agents are Shivlal Bhosale, president of Marketyard Commission Agent Association, Yashwant Konde, Suryakant Thorat, Ravindra Kul, Sambhaji Pathare, Bajirao Jhende, Eknath Yadav, Ganesh Ghule, Vilas Bhujbal and Rajendra Korpe.

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