Before going to the historical discussion of the regulated markets let us have some theoretical idea about them. In this section we shall discuss (i) meaning of regulated markets and their applicability, (ii) benefits to be derived from regulated markets, and lastly, (iii) conditions of regulated markets in Bangladesh.
What is a Regulated Market ?
Standards in primary and secondary markets have generally been found to be very poor, with exploitation and wastes as common features. In recent times, therefore, an additional facility which has come to be recognized as essential to efficient marketing is the institution of regulated markets.
A regulated market may be defined as a market operating under a statute, under which market charges and marketing services would be standardized, buying and selling outside the (regulated) market would be prohibited, and there would be a management committee representing the different interests to administer the market, price would be publicized, sales would be supervised and disputes settled quickly.
The principal object of the regulated markets is to eliminate the traditional drawbacks of the agricultural marketing system and to regularize the competitive processes as far as possible. Well regulated markets create in the mind of the cultivator a feeling of confidence and of receiving fair play ; and this is the mood in which he is most ready to accept new ideas and to strive to improve his agricultural practice.
Advantages of Regulated Markets
Improvements sought to be introduced by regulation, can be obtained through the following measures:
1. Clear definition of market charges, reduction of excessive charges, and prohibitions of unauthorized additions to them.
2. Regulation of market practices.
3. Licensing of market functionaries including buyers, brokers and weigh-men.
4. Use of standard weights and measures only.
5. Arrangements for settlements of disputes regarding quality, weigh, deductions etc.
6. Sale by open auction or open agreement.
7. Appointment of Market Committees fully representative of growers, traders, local authorities and Government.
8. Arrangement for the display of reliable and up-to-date market information in the market yard.
9. Control by Government over the markets and. Market committee.
The above list of improvements permits the surmise that although the success of regulated markets may be dependent ultimately upon performance and patronage, their initial establishment in an area, in itself, may well be regarded as a step towards greater efficiency in marketing.
We may cite some examples of regulated markets in India. Let us discuss the benefits that are derived in Wankaner and Gondal Regulated Markets. At Wankane, the commodities regulated are wheat, bajra, jowar, groundnunt. castorseed, cotton and methi. At Gondal rice, wheat, dry chilies, barley, mung and bajra.
Benefits of Regulated Markets at Wankaner
(1) There is a re-organisation in the system of weighing. Prior to regulation it was possible for the buyer to cheat the cultivator at the time of weighing. With regulation, weighing is by licensed weighing only and in the cultivators’ presence at the market yard. Scales and weights are regularly checked by the Market Committee. The system of taking more than 40 seers to a maund is expected to abolished.
(2) The daily market prices are displayed at the yard. This has assured the availability of regular and accurate price information to the cultivators and other interested parties.
(3) With regulation immediate payments to the agriculturists are assured.
(4) With regulation, the practice of taking arbitrary quality deductions, charity allowances and other illegal charges has disappeared.
(5) It is expected that in selling at the regulated markets under the supervision of market staff, the farmer-seller would be assured of proper competitive prices. The same were the benefits to gondal.