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Rajasthan’s Krishi Kalyan fees

Topics Covered: transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Rajasthan’s Krishi Kalyan fees

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the fees, provisions in this regard.

For Mains: Rationale behind, significance and the concerns associated.

Context: Rajasthan government is levying a 2 per cent Krishak Kalyan fees on agricultural produce brought or bought or sold in mandis.

The fees collected will be deposited in the Krishak Kalyan Kosh — dedicated to the welfare of farmers in the state.

 Background:

Last year, Rajasthan Government had announced the creation of the Krishak Kalyan Kosh.

Accordingly, the government brought in the Rajasthan Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, which was promulgated by the Governor on May 1, amending Section 17 of the Rajasthan Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1961.

 Criticisms:

People associated with agricultural mandis in the state and farmer groups have voiced their opposition to the new cess. Why?

  • Farmer outfits are apprehensive that people at agricultural mandis will pass on the burden of the increased cost to farmers, already reeling by the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus.
  • It may result in farmers getting less prices for their agricultural produce, traders incurring losses because of people choosing to sell the produce to black marketers, and agriculture produce from Rajasthan being sold outside the state.
  • There is already mandi cess of 1.6 per cent on the produce. This 2 per cent fees will increase it to 3.6 per cent, which is much higher than other states. This increased cess will encourage black marketing.

What the government says?

The government has insisted that the money collected as Krishi Kalyan fees will be spent on the welfare of farmers.

The fee will be a burden neither on the people associated with the mandis nor the farmers. This charge is meant for the next point of sale, after farmers sell their produce.

This money collected will actually benefit them as it will be spent for their welfare. The entire money will be used on ensuring that the farmers get adequate price and providing them other incentives.

Sources: Indian Express.