The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today passed an amendment to the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, which will enable farmers to be elected to the governing bodies of APMCs. APMCs were formed at the tehsil level in 1960s to provide a single market place for farmers. The amendment provides that the farmers who regularly supply fruit, vegetables and food grains to APMCs will be enrolled as voters who elect their governing bodies, and would also become eligible for getting elected themselves. Opposition Congress and NCP opposed the amendment. NCP's Ajit Pawar said, "It will be very difficult for APMC administration to register every person who supplies vegetables to the APMC as a voter. There are many APMCs with very low revenue; how can these APMCs bear the cost of preparation of voters list, its publication and assessment?" Ganpatrao Deshmukh (PWP), senior-most member of the House, said, "The state government had earlier brought an ordinance for the same amendment.
Amendment is a provision which should be used during crisis. What was the emergency which necessitated this amendment?" The amendment bill was passed amid commotion. It will now go to the Legislative Council for discussion.
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