Kolkata: The West Bengal Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation)(Amendment) Bill 2014 was passed on Monday amid opposition charges that it was done in haste despite being sent to the select committee for a detailed discussion.
Replying during the debate, Agriculture Marketing Minister Arup Roy said the Bill was tabled keeping in mind the interest of the farmers so that they get the right price of their produce.
Roy dismissed opposition allegations that the Bill when enacted, would help backdoor entry of foreign and private capital and the farmers' existence would be threatened.
The bill, he said, did not have any provision for entry of private and foreign capital and the allegations by the opposition was a mere ploy to misguide the house.
He said 92 percent of the state's agricultural produce market was in private hands and the government had no control over them.
Roy assured the House that the bill, an amended version of the original 1972 legislation, would establish control over the private players as they would have to seek licence for a fee from the government to operate.
This would also bring revenue to the government and the passage of the amended legislation would not result in contract farming.
The government also rejected an amendment brought by SUCI member Tarun Naskar who demanded that a public opinion be sought before passage of the bill.