APMC and SIT Join Forces: Swift Action Against Cheating in Apple Sales Promised; Immediate Police Action for Bounced Cheques and Complaints

Shimla – With the apple season in full swing, the Himachal Pradesh government has mandated that apples be sold strictly by weight. This new regulation aims to bring transparency and fairness to the market, ensuring that both apple growers and buyers receive fair value.

Horticulture Minister Jagat Singh Negi said that commission agents at auction yards are required to install electronic weighing scales. These scales will be used to weigh apple cartons, and the sale will proceed based on the average weight per kilo. This measure is intended to standardize the process and eliminate any discrepancies in the sale of apples.

Minister Negi emphasized that apple growers should use high-quality universal cartons to pack apples to prevent losses for commission agents and buyers. He clarified that the law will apply equally to all, whether the violation is by the apple growers or the commission agent. Minister Negi assured that there is no shortage of these cartons, as they are available at HPMC sales centers and from private companies in the market. He noted that 99% of gwoers are satisfied with the universal cartons, with only a small percentage expressing concerns.

To address past issues of cheating, the government has activated the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) alongside the Special Investigation Team (SIT). This collaboration aims to address complaints from apple growers. Upon receiving a complaint, APMC will register cases with the police, ensuring prompt action against any malpractice. Additionally, if growers receive payments via cheque that subsequently bounce, they are advised to file immediate complaints with the police to prevent financial losses.

To ensure compliance with these new rules, local authorities, including SDMs and Tehsildars, have been empowered to take necessary actions during the apple season. This comprehensive approach is designed to create a fair and efficient system for all stakeholders involved in the apple trade.

Minister Negi also addressed the confusion surrounding the use of universal cartons. He clarified that growers with leftover cartons from the previous year can use these for packing and selling pears, as there is no restriction on their use for this fruit. This move aims to provide flexibility to gardeners and prevent waste.