Mysuru: The steady increase in the number of grain shops doing retail business has become a cause of serious concern for wholesale traders at APMC Yard in Bandipalya. So much so that people are flocking to retail shops in hordes while there are very few takers for wholesale shops.
As per APMC Act, traders are required to purchase crops, grains, millets, cereals, etc. from farmers and sell them to consumers at wholesale rates. But in the APMC Yard, it has become just the opposite with retail outlets outnumbering wholesale shops.
Some wholesale traders have complained to the authorities about mushrooming of retail shops, provision and Kirana stores where items like beverages, cool drinks and fruit juices are being sold. These retail shops are said to have obtained licence for wholesale trading but the ground situation is otherwise.
Provision stores have begun to dot the APMC Yard with only a few shops doing wholesale trade for which the APMC is meant for. As most of the articles are being sold at MRP rates at the provision stores in APMC Yard, one can see no difference between a general market and the APMC.
While space at APMC Market are let out for the actual purpose of doing wholesale trading, the ground scenario seems otherwise with some traders, who are allotted space, utilising it to construct shops and letting them out for rent. This has resulted in loss for APMC as those who have rented out their shops do not pay turnover tax of 1.5 percent, say wholesale traders.
Lack of infrastructure and amenities
There are hundreds of shops in APMC doing business worth crores of rupees every day. But the huge premises is found wanting in toilets, drinking water and other civic amenities. Also, there is no proper waste disposal mechanism and as a result, heaps of waste and garbage are found in the premises almost everywhere. The APMC is also found lacking in hygiene, in the absence of a regular waste collection system.
As per the APMC Act, the market is closed on Sundays. But some of the shops are seen open on Sundays too and this has become advantageous for burglars to loot other shops in the vicinity, according to some wholesale traders.
APMC Secretary T.C. Girish says that fruits and vegetable business generally takes place on Sundays and there is no restriction for this. The APMC authorities have been telling other shop owners not to open on Sundays.
As far as burglaries are concerned, there is round-the-clock security at the Yard and measures have been taken to prevent burglaries, he said. But a few thefts are reported late in the night and the APMC is taking steps to prevent these too. Also, shop owners doing retail trading have been asked to stop the practice and do only wholesale business, he added.