The governor of Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar signed the law to abolish the current system of market committees and introduced a new system of agricultural marketing.
The government will dissolve the 135 market committees via a gazette notification shortly after the end of the current Punjab Assembly session on October 1. The constitution of a new market committee within 60 days is compulsory by law. The new law, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, will impose a fine of Rs 500,000 and six months in jail for breaking the new market law.
The notified area of the new market committees will be confined within the four walls of the market.
The terms of payment of government contributions and pensions for retired or late employees associated with the current committee have not been clarified. The new law made it clear that agri-food market fees will be charged based on the cost of agricultural products. However, the percentage of the fees is not yet clear.
The market committees will be dissolved next week but the rules for the full application of the new law could not be formulated. A few days ago, the governor of Punjab approved the Punjab Agricultural Market Regulatory Authority (PAMRA) Act and the manuscript of the new Law on Official Gazette Notification has been sent, which will be published shortly thereafter. the end of the Punjab Assembly session on October 1.
This will abolish the 1978 Agricultural Markets Ordinance and 135 Market Committees and their notified area.
In accordance with the PAMRA law, the new market committees will be formulated in 60 days and their competence will be limited to the four borders of their markets.
Posted in The Express Tribune, September 19e, 2019.