Development of Regulated Markets
There are a number of practices, from the exchange to the physical, and to the facilitating functions, which hamper the farmer in getting a just share of the value of their produce. For these reasons a number of legislations for regulating the markets have been passed in different countries of the world.
Since the economic structure of Bangladesh has similarity to a greater extent with that of the countries in Asia and the Far East, we shall here review some of the regulatory programmes in operation in this region. In Japan under the Agriculture and the Forestry Economic Bureau there is the Enterprise and Marketing Section which is responsible for the administration of the “Commodity Exchange Law.” This section supervises the activities of the promoters and wholesalers of fruits and vegetables at wholesale markets and the operation of the grain and sugar exchanges.
In Hongkong, there is the Agricultural Products (Marketing) Ordinance of 1952 which specifies that all locally produced and imported vegetables sold wholesale must pass through the Kowloon Vegetable Markets. Working hours, methods of sale and payment, market charges, etc, are regulated to ensure that farmer would get a fair deal. Sales in the market are all on cash basis and the organisation gets 10% of the sales as service commission.
In China (Taiwan), the wholesale markets for cash, hogs and vegetables are regulated by committees in the major producing and consuming centres. The committees comprise representatives of the city and township Government and the producers’ association concerned. In Ceylon, too, the weekly market fairs which are actually retail and wholesale markets are supervised by the respective local authorities.
The need for the regulation of wholesale markets in undi-vided India originally was thought of when it was desired that available supplies of pure cotton to the Textile Mills in the United Kingdom should be at reasonable prices. For this reason, a special law known as “,The Cotton and Grain Market Law” was enacted in Berar In 1917, the Indian Cotton committee was formed which recommended the regulation of cotton markets along the lines of the Berar markets.
After undertaking marketing investigations, the Indian Royal Commission submitted a report in 1928 which highlighted the defects in the agricultural commodity markets and forwarded recommendations to establish property regulated markets in order to eradicate the defects in the system. In 1931 the Central Banking Enquiry Committee favourably endorsed the recommendations which, as a result, promoted some provinces to enact basic market legislations in the early thirties. Legislation seeking to establish regulated market was enacted by Hyderabad in 1930, the central provinces in 1935,
Punjab, Bombay and Mysore in 1939, In 1938, a model bill was prepared by the then Central Agricultural Marketing Department which became a pattern for several states in drafting their respective bills. It was after the second world war when the impact of the five year plan in the 1950’s was felt which spurred the pace of market regulation. In the various state Acts of India, they define what are the agricultural produce, which the Acts would apply and they are listed in the schedule attached to the Acts.
The number of commodities notified for regulation varies from 3 to 54. However, fccdgrains are regulated in most of the states. The extension of legislation to fruits ar.d vegetables, livestock and livestock products and tobacco has been limited.
The former East Pakistan Government enforced an Act viz., East Pakistan Agricultural Produce Markets Regulatior Act, 1964, which has been adopted in Bangladesh. Fourteer markets have been regulated here upto 1966. The Act provides for manifold advantages, chief of which are listeC below :—
(i) Market charges are clearly defined and specified anc unauthorised deduCtions prohibited.
(ii) Market practices are regulated.
(iii) Correct weighment is ensured by periodical inspectior and verification of scales and weights.
(iv) Suitable arrangement for the settlement of disputes regarding quality, weighment and deductions prevent litigation, safeguard the interest of the sellers and smoothness of the business.
(v) Licensing of the traders and market functionaries help to control the abusive practices very often indulged in by them.
(vi) The insistence on prompt payment of the value of produce by the buyer considerably helps the poor seller.
(vii) Reliable and up-to-date market information is made available to the users of the market.
(viii) Suitable quality standards and standard contract terms for buying and selling can be conveniently enforced in a regulated market.
(ix) Reliable statistics of arrivals, stocks, prices, etc. can be maintained in a regulated market.
(x) Vai ious facilities and conveniences are provided in regulated markets, such as sheds for the use of sellers and buyers for the sale of produce, .pace for parking carts, water cistern for cattle, storage accommodation for the farm produces.
(xi) Propaganda for agricultural improvement, use of good seed, adoption of improved methods of cultivation, grading of farm produce, can be more conveniently undertaken in the regulated market.