The supply of essential commodities like fruits, vegetables, and grain is likely to be affected on Tuesday as the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) will be closed to support the Bharat Bandh called on November 8. Traders and mathadi (head-loader) unions have decided to support the Bharat Band in support of farmers protesting at the national capital for the last 12 days.
Stakeholders of APMC have already been opposing the three farm laws that were brought in by the central government during the lockdown period hastily. They allege that the laws will weaken the APMC system and over the period, traders and other stakeholders will lose their livelihood.
Narendra Patil, Mathadi leader said that mathadi workers are supporting the protest of farmers in the national capital and they have decided to support the Bharat Bandh on November 8. Mathadi unions are already opposing the farm laws as they fear lakhs of mathadi workers across Maharashtra will lose their livelihood in years to come.
The Fruit market director Sanjay Pansare says that the laws were enacted hastily during the lockdown. “All markets in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai will be closed in support of the farmers, protesting in Delhi,” said Pansare, adding that around four years ago, the state government brought fruits and vegetable market out of APMC ambit for the benefits of farmers. However, farmers have got nothing out of the decision.
Bhimji Bhanushali, secretary of the Grain, Rice & Oilseeds, Merchants’ Association (GROMA) said that the grain market will be closed to support the countrywide bandh. “The traders have already incurred huge loss due to the decision as products sold at APMC attract additional tax. There should be a level playing field for everyone,” said Bhanushali.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Council Navi Mumbai Gurudwaras along with all Navi Mumbai Gurudwaras and Punjabi Culture and Welfare Association have extended their support to protesting farmers in the national capital and urged the central government to solve the issues raised by the farmers amicably. “The agitation should not linger for long,” said Meher Singh Randhawa, general secretary of Supreme Council Navi Mumbai Gurudwaras.