Delhi govt to allow direct purchase by retailers from farmers
New Delhi: Keen to make Delhi first city to have global retail chains like Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour following Centre's decision to allow FDI in multibrand retail, the Delhi government is considering easing certain norms for allowing direct purchase of produce from farmers by retailers.
Initially, the government will go for making amendments to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act to allow direct connectivity between retailers and farmers, officials said.
As per the existing provision, farmers cannot sell their produce directly to retailers as it has to be routed through the mandis.
"We will have to bring amendments to APMC Act to break monopoly of the wholesale markets so that retailers can directly buy agricultural produce from farmers," Delhi Chief Secretary P K Tripathi said.
Tripathi said after getting detail communication from the Centre on allowing 51 percent FDI in multibrand retail, the Delhi government will work out a detail plan of action to help the global giants set up their shops in Delhi.
As per the FDI policy approved by the Cabinet, the final authority for granting trade licence rests with the states under their respective Shops and Establishment Acts.
To break the monopoly of Azadpur mandi, considered one of the the largest fruit and vegetable wholesale markets in Asia, the government is also considering allowing private market yards for marketing of farm produce.
"We will have to change the monopoly of wholesale market. Allowing direct purchase by retailers will also help farmers get better return on their produce," Tripathi said.
On criticism that livelihood of those running kirana shops will be robbed off by global giants, he dismissed such apprehensions, saying nothing will happen to small retailers.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who also holds the finance portfolio, has been strongly backing the Centre's decision to allow FDI in multibrand retail saying it will help farmers get best remunerative prices of their products, besides facilitating lower rates of essential commodities.
States which have supported the Centre's decision include Maharashtra, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Assam - all ruled by UPA.
These states have 19 cities - including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Srinagar and Guwahati - with more than one million population.
As percentre's decision, foreign retailers will only be allowed to set up shop in cities with over one million population.