Cotton ginners from across the state on Wednesday demanded reduction of market fee from 2 per cent to 0.8 per cent to provide them level playing field with their counterparts in Punjab and Rajasthan.
A meeting of the cotton ginners was held in Sirsa on Tuesday with Bajrang Dass Garg, state president of the Haryana Pradesh Vyapar Mandal and general secretary of the Akhil Bhartiya Vyapar Mandal in the chair
The Haryana Government is trying to ruin cotton industry in the state by imposing heavy market fees on them. The government recently organised a ‘kapas rally’ in Barwala and claimed that it had provided Rs 5,150 per quintal as MSP for cotton. However, the fact is that the crop is already selling for Rs 5,900 per quintal in the market. If the government is really interested in the welfare of farmers, it should reduce market fee immediately,” said Garg.
Sushil Mittal, state president of the Haryana Cotton Millers Association, said that till 2010-11, they were paying 4 per cent fee to the State Marketing Board of which 2 per cent was market fee and 2 per cent Haryana Rural Development Fund (HRDF). In contrast, Rajasthan charges 1.6 per cent and Punjab has 2 per cent rate of market fee.
On the demand of millers, the previous Congress government had reduced both the market fee as well as the HRDF to 0.8 per cent each making it at par with Rajasthan in 2010-11.
While the HRDF was reduced permanently, the notification for market fees was issued on year to year basis.
“Since 2016, the government has not reduced the market fees despite announcement. We are being denied level playing field with our counterparts in the neighbouring states,” alleged Mittal. However, sources in the State Marketing Board who did not want to be quoted said that the ginners themselves were to blame for this, as they failed to fulfil minimum fees guarantee due to evasion of the fees by their members.
Sources said that after the reduced rates were introduced, the collection of fee from cotton dwindled from Rs 36.53 crore in 2012-13, to Rs 29.80 crore in 2013-14, Rs 16.28 crore in 2014-15 and finally came down to Rs 8.65 crore in 2015-16 due to large scale evasion by ginners.