This LS 2014 Elections ... will you, the voter, make a promise ?

“The AAP will make no promises to you. Instead it will ask you to make a promise. This time you will not cast your vote on the basis of kinship. You will forget caste; you will drive away the distributors of alcohol and money. AAP has not come to ask you for your vote. If there is anything we ask of you, it is to have faith in yourselves; and to listen to the voice of your soul. This election is not about the victory or defeat of political parties; it is about victory or defeat within ourselves. In front of the voting machine, we must think of the future of our children, the future of our city and our dreams for the future of our country.” Short link

Monday, 13 January 2014

It’s tough to keep the middlemen out

13 Jan 2014
Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
Surendra P Gangan

Govt must withstand pressure from strong trader lobbies and establish a viable alternative supply chain for scheme to succeed

MUMBAI: Experts from the agriculture sector and stakeholders in the state’s APMCs claimed that implementing the scheme for farmers to sell directlytly to con-consumers would be a Herculeanculean task for the state, becauseuse those with vested inter-rests could create hur-dles as they had done in the past.
FILE PHOTO The fruit and vegetable market at APMC, Vashi. The state had denotified 42 fruits and vegetables from the list of the Agriculture Producee M a rke t C o m m i t t e e (APMC) Act in August 2013 to offer consumers respiteite from high prices, but the decisionision was withdrawn after APMC stakeholders allegedly warned of extreme consequences.
“There have been other instances in the past where the government succumbed to pressure. The lobbies of wholesalers, middlemen and mathadis are strong enough to defuse the plan. The political leadership needs strong will power to implement the decision. I do not think the Congress-led government has it in them,” said agriculture expert Girdhar Patil.
Fruit and vegetable wholesalers claimed there was no way to reduce prices. “Does the government have a plan to replace the one in place? Even if farmers decide to trade directly, what mechanism is available to them?” said Balasaheb Bende, president of the Fruit Merchants’ Welfare Association at the Vashi APMC.
Bende said the margin charged by various components, including wholesalers, middlemen and retailers, was justified. “The wholesalers bear the loss of damaged vegetables and fruits, give credit to retailers, share cordial relations with and lend a helping hand to farmers. They will not part with us just because they have another option,” he said, adding that by allowing direct supply to retailers, the government was also defeating the purpose of shifting markets from CST and Byculla to Vashi to decongest the city.
Political observers claimed the implementation could see an escalated tussle between the Congress and NCP. Most of the APMCs and the mathadi workers’ unions are led by the NCP. Many said the delay in issuing notifications in the matter was because of the opposition from within political circles.
However, Sanjay Shetye, chairman, Sahakari Bhandar, said the alternative chain and infrastructure would be established in time. “The infrastructure will come up, responding to the demand by the market forces. It will take time, but once in place, it will help reduce the prices by at least 50%.”

Take away -

The article also shows how & why the govt may not be able to do so.

The AAP can definitely lead a peoples movement & the pressure WILL FORCE GOVT TO DO THE NEEDFUL, & THIS WILL BRING DOWN PRICES BY 40% as the newspaper report states.

40% - WOW --PHEW, a very hefty price differential.LOOK at the difference it will make to the prices.

Going a step further if AAP gets agri scientists & innovators involved they can work on decreasing agriculture input costs & bring down prices.

Studies done by experts, scientists & foreign govts in the past 30 years or so have shown how agricultural input costs can be brought down.& storage wastage stopped.

Corruption in FCI & PDS system, & black market links also responsible for rotting of food grains.

This will be a double edged sword if the prices can be reduced on both fronts.

The people of India will be thankful to AAP for GENERATIONS TO COME.

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