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Maharashtra mandis report 20% loss due to lockdown

All the 17 market committees in Nashik will remained closed until May 23 following imposition of lockdown-like restrictions.

Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in Maharashtra have reported drop in income of up to 20% with several market committees remaining shut due to lockdown restrictions and weekly holidays, according to senior officials.

Around 108 of the 305 mandis in the state remained closed on Tuesday due to lockdown and their weekly holidays, as per data available with the director, Marketing, Maharashtra. On Tuesday, 124 mandis remained shut in the state while 196 committees were shut on Monday.

“On any given day at least 200-225 market committees are working. However, these are extraordinary times and given the current situation, the local authorities have the power to decide if daily operations can continue in these Mandis,” Satish Soni, director, Marketing, said.

“All the 305 market committees and 585 sub-market yards are expected to function except for their weekly holidays. APMCs also cannot stop functioning beyond 3 days of continuous holidays,” he said.

Soni said that the closure of some of the mandis because of the lockdown has impacted market arrivals resulting in a 20% drop in revenues.

“The markets are functioning with restricted timings, and therefore, the arrivals are lesser. No retail business is permitted and entries have been restricted only to wholesalers and relevant market committee officials,” he said.

Maharashtra has 305 APMCs, 598 sub-market yards, with a turnover of Rs 45,681 crore. It engages 7,000 employees. Reeling under an unprecedented Covid wave, the Maharashtra government has announced severe curfew like restrictions on public movement till May 15, which is likely to be extended till the month end.

All the 17 market committees in Nashik will remained closed until May 23 following imposition of lockdown-like restrictions. Nashik is a major onion growing belt in Maharashtra. Similar lockdowns have been announced in other districts as well.

As per data with the state marketing directorate, the maximum number of mandis were shut on Tuesday at Amravati and Nagpur divisions. Around 43 of the 50 market committees in Nagpur division were shut on Tuesday while 23 of the 55 market committees in Amravati division remained closed the same day.

APMCs have been directed to strictly adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behavior, Soni said. The local authorities are expected to keep a vigil over the functioning of market committees in both urban and rural areas and ensure smooth functioning of these markets, he said. The state government first imposed the lockdown on April 22, which was later extended till May 15 amid fears over another wave of the pandemic.

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