Promotion and Facilitation of Trade and Commerce of Farmers’ Produce
The system is to provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels; to promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter-State and intra-State trade and commerce of farmers’ produce outside the physical premises of markets or deemed markets notified under various State agricultural produce market legislations; to provide a facilitative framework for electronic trading.
Electronic trading and transaction platform means a platform set up to facilitate direct and online buying and selling for conduct of trade and commerce of farming produce through a network of electronic devices and internet applications;
Farming produce includes-
(i) foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils, all kinds of cereals like wheat, rice or other coarse grains, pulses, vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, sugarcane and products of poultry, piggery, goatery, fishery and dairy, intended for human consumption in its natural or processed form;
(ii) cattle fodder, including oilcakes and other concentrates;
(iii) raw cotton, whether ginned or unginned;
(iv) cotton seeds and raw jute;
Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
3. Freedom to conduct trade and commerce in a trade area
Subject to the provisions of this Act, any farmer or trader or electronic trading and transaction platform shall have the freedom to carry on the inter-State or intra-State trade and commerce in farmers’ produce in a trade area.
4. Trade and commerce of scheduled farmers’ produce
(1) Any trader may engage in the inter-State trade or intra-State trade of scheduled farmers’ produce with a farmer or another trader in a trade area:
Provided that no trader, except the farmer producer organisations or agricultural co-operative society, shall trade in any scheduled farmers’ produce unless such a trader has a permanent account number allotted under the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) or such other document as may be notified by the Central Government.
(2) The Central Government may, if it is of the opinion that it is necessary and expedient in the public interest so to do, prescribe a system for electronic registration for a trader, modalities of trade transaction and mode of payment of the scheduled farmers’ produce in a trade area.
(3) Every trader who transacts with farmers shall make payment for the traded scheduled farmers’ produce on the same day or within the maximum three working days if procedurally so required subject to the condition that the receipt of delivery mentioning the due payment amount shall be given to the farmer on the same day:
Provided that the Central Government may prescribe a different procedure of payment by farmer produce organisation or agriculture co-operative society, by whatever name called, linked with the receipt of payment from the buyers.
5. Electronic trading and transaction platform
(1) Any person (other than individual), having a permanent account number allotted under the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) or such other document as may be notified by the Central Government or any farmer producer organisation or agricultural co-operative society may establish and operate an electronic trading and transaction platform for facilitating inter-State or intra-State trade and commerce of scheduled farmers’ produce in a trade area:
Provided that the person establishing and operating an electronic trading and transaction platform shall prepare and implement the guidelines for fair trade practices such as mode of trading, fees, technical parameters including inter-operability with other platforms, logistics arrangements, quality assessment, timely payment, dissemination of guidelines in local language of the place of operation of the platform and such other matters.
(2) If the Central Government is of the opinion that it is necessary and expedient in public interest so to do, it may, for electronic trading platforms, by rules-
(a) specify the procedure, norms, manner of registration; and
(b) specify the code of conduct, technical parameters including inter-operability with other platform and modalities of trade transaction including logistics arrangements and quality assessment of scheduled farmers’ produce and mode of payment, for facilitating fair inter-State and intra-State trade and commerce of scheduled farmers’ produce in a trade area.
6. Market fee under State APMC Act, etc., in trade area
No market fee or cess or levy, by whatever name called, under any State APMC Act or any other State law, shall be levied on any farmer or trader or electronic trading and transaction platform for trade and commerce in scheduled farmers’ produce in a trade area.
7. Price Information and Market Intelligence System
(1) The Central Government may, through any Central Government Organisation, develop a Price Information and Market Intelligence System for farmers’ produce and a framework for dissemination of information relating thereto.
(2) The Central Government may require any person owning and operating an electronic trading and transaction platform to provide information regarding such transactions as may be prescribed.
Explanation – For the purposes of this section, the expression “Central Government Organisation” includes any subordinate or attached office, Government owned or promoted company or society.
Procedure for regulating Electronic Trade and Transaction Platform
After taking cognizance of any breach as mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 9, the Agricultural Marketing Adviser or the officer of the State referred to in that sub-section shall comply with the following procedure, namely:-
(i) issue notice to the person owning, controlling or operating an electronic trade and transaction platform , as soon as possible, but in no case later than fourteen days from the date of taking suo moto cognizance or receiving a petition or a reference from any Government agency, mentioning therein brief of the contravention and direct the contravenor to attend the proceedings before it on the designated date;
(ii) hear the person owning, controlling or operating an electronic trade and transaction platform by taking into account circumstances and the documentary evidences provided in support by the alleged contravenor;
(iii) conduct such other enquires to ascertain facts as he deems fit, and may ask for additional documentary evidences to arrive at the conclusion;
(iv) direct the person owning, controlling or operating an electronic trade and transaction platform to file a reply either personally or through an advocate, and may permit him to be represented in the proceedings by an advocate;
(v) pass an ex-parte order if the person owning, controlling or operating electronic trade and transaction platform fails to submit reply in response to the notice within fourteen days from the date of receipt of such notices;
(vi) examine the reply to the notice and make any other enquiry to ascertain facts and direct him to file additional documentary evidence, if necessary;
(vii) dispose of the matter in a summary manner as provided in sub-section (1) of Section 9 by passing a reasoned order within sixty days from the date of taking suo moto cognizance of the contravention or receipt of the petition or reference from the Government agency.