Traders in several mandis (wholesale markets) in Madhya Pradesh have stopped purchase of food-grains, pulses and oilseeds following the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's announcement that purchasing below the minimums support price would be considered an offence.
The announcement should be withdrawn, traders demanded today.
Chouhan's announcement was one of the measures he promised in a bid to mollify the farmers in west Madhya Pradesh who were on the warpath since June 1, demanding better prices for farm produce among other things.
"The business has become difficult for traders as it has become mandatory to purchase the farm produce at MSP. So we have decided to shut the mandis till the withdrawal of this announcement," Sakal Anaj Dalhan-Tilahan Vyapari Mahasangh Samiti president Gopaldas Agrawal told PTI.
The Samiti had a state-level meeting earlier today.
Agrawal said that business in almost 85 percent of mandis has come to a standstill in response to the call given by his organisation.
The farmers' protest has already curtailed inflow of farm produce in mandis.
Agrawal said the traders are also upset over other rules which the government has announced, such as farmers should be paid half the sale proceeds in cash and the balance through Internet banking.
The Centre has set a limit of Rs 2 lakh for cash transactions while the state government is asking the traders to make cash payments, he said.
"This is contradictory and impractical. Traders will have to face penalties from the Income Tax Department for cash transactions," Agrawal said.