An act to provide for the regulation of marketing of agricultural produce in West Bengal.
WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the regulation of marketing of agricultural
produce in West Bengal and for matters connected therewith;
AND WHEREAS previous sanction of the President under the proviso to clause (b) of article 304 of
the Constitution of India has been obtained.
It is hereby enacted in the Twenty-third year of the republic of India, by the Legislature
of West Bengal, as follows:-
1. Short title, extent and commencement.
(1) This Act may be called the West Bengal Agricultural
Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1972.
(2) It extends to the whole of West Bengal.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the State
Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different areas.
2. Definitions.(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) “agricultural produce” means any produce of agriculture, horticulture, pisciculture, sericulture, forestry or animal husbandry and includes any related product specified in the Schedule to this Act:
Provided that the State Government may, by notification, include any item of agricultural produce in the schedule or exclude any such item from it;
(b) “agriculturist” means a person who ordinarily by himself or by his tenant or hired labourer or otherwise, is engaged in the production and growth of agricultural produce, but dose not include a trader or broker in agricultural produce notwithstanding that such trader or broker is also engaged in the production or growth of agricultural produce;
(bb) “Board” means the West Bengal State Marketing Board established under sub-section (1) of section 36;
(c) “broker” means an agent whose ordinary course of business is to negotiate and make contracts on payment of commission for the purchase or sale of agricultural produce on behalf of his principal, but dose not include a servant of such principal engaged in negotiating or making such contracts;
(d) “commission agent” means a person who buys and sales agricultural produce for any person, keeps it in his custody and controls it during the process of its sale or purchase, and collect payment therefore from the buyer and pays it to the seller, and receives by way of remuneration a commission or percentage upon the amount involved in each transaction;
(e) “Director” means the Director of Marketing, West Bengal and includes the Additional Director of Agriculture (Marketing), West Bengal and the Joint Director of Agriculture (Marketing), West Bengal;
(ee) “licensed trader” means in a trader licensed under section 13.
(f) “local authority” means a municipal area, the municipal authority and in a notified area, the notified area authority, by whatever name called, and includes a Town Committee, a Gram Panchayat, a Panchayat Samiti or a Zilla Parisad or any such authority, by whatever name called;
(g) “market” means a market established or declared as such under this act for a market area and includes a principal market yard and sub-market yard, if any;
(h) “market area” means any area declared to be a market area under section 3;
(i) “market committee” means a committee constitute under section 5;
(la)“market functionary” includes a trader, commission agent, broker, weigh man, measurer, warehouseman or surveyor carrying on business in a market area on valid licence issued under section 13;
(jj) “market year” means the year commencing on the first day of April;
(k) “measurer” means a person whose business is to measure a consignment of agricultural produce for sale;
(kk) “notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette;
(kkk) “person” means an individual and includes a firm, a joint family, a local authority, an association or a body of individuals incorporated or not;
(l) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(m) “principal market yard” means any enclosure, building or locality within the market area declared to be a principal market yard under sec 4;
(n) “retail sale” means a sale of any agricultural produce not exceeding such quantity as may, by rules made under this Act, be fixed in respect of such agricultural produce;
(o) “Schedule” means the Schedule to this Act;
(p) “Secretary” means a person appointed as such under section 14 and includes an officiating or acting secretary;
(q) “standard weight” and “standard measure” have the same meaning respectively assigned to them in the West Bengal Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1958;
(r) “sub-market yard” means any enclosure, building or locality within the market area declared to be a sub-market yard under sec 4;
(s) “surveyor” means a person whose business is to survey a consignment of agricultural produce for sale in regard to quality, refraction, adulteration and any other purposes;
(t) “trader” means a person ordinarily engaged in the business of purchasing and selling agricultural produce as a principal or as a duly authorised agent of one or more principals and includes a person ordinarily engaged in the business or processing or preservation of agricultural produce;
(u) “trade allowance” means any thing realized in cash or kind, by the purchaser from the seller in any transaction relating to agricultural produce either by deduction from the price agreed upon or otherwise;
Explanation.-In this clause “purchaser” includes a commission agent;
(v) “Warehouseman” means a person whose business is to store agricultural produce in any building, structure or enclosure on behalf of persons depositing such produce; and
(w) “Weighman” means a person who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the weighing of agricultural produce in connection with a transaction of sale or purchase thereof.
(2) If any question arises as to whether a person is or is not an agriculturist or a trader within the meaning of the Act, the decision of the Director on such question shall be final:Provided that the Director Shall Give the person a reasonable opportunity of being heard before giving his decision.
3. Declaration of market area.
(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, the State Government may, by notification, declare any area as a market area within which purchase and sale of such agricultural produce as may be specified in the notification, shall be regulated.
(2) On the publication of such notification under sub-section (1), or with effect from such later date as may be specified therein, no local authority or other person shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force, within the market area, or within such distance thereof as may be declared by notification in this behalf, set up, establish or continue or allow to be set up, established or continued any place for the purchase or sale of such agricultural produce as has been specified in the notification under sub-section (1), except in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder.
(3) The State Government may, by notification, include or exclude any area or form a market area, as the case may be, or include or exclude any agricultural produce in or from the list of agricultural produce.
(4) The State Government may, by notification, declare that a market area declared as such under Sub-section (1) shall cease to be a market area with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification. When a market area thus ceases to be a market area any market established, declared or notified in such market area shall cease to be a market and the Market Committee constituted for the said market area shall stand dissolved with the following consequences:
(a) the members of the market committee shall be deemed to have vacated their officers, and
(b) the unexpended balance of the Market Committee Fund and other properties and liabilities shall vest in the State Government free from all encumbrances and in such manner as may be prescribed:
Provided that the liability of State Government shall be limited to the extent of the unexpended balance of the Market Committee Fund and the value of the property vesting in the State Government as may be determined in the manner prescribed.
4. Declaration of principal market yard and sub-market yard
(1) The State Government may, by notification, declare any enclosure, building or locality in any market area, to be the principal market yard and other enclosures, building or localities in such to be one or more sub-market yard or yards for a market area.
(2) The State Government may, by notification, declare that no local authority or any other person, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, shall setup, establish or continue or allow to be continued any place for the purchase, sale, storage or processing of any agricultural produce within such distance of the principal market yard or a sub-market yard as may be specified in the notification.
(3) Nothing contained in sub-section (2) shall apply to:-
(a) the sale of agricultural produce by the producer himself or by any person employed by him when such sale is made to an individual who purchase it for his own consumption.
(b) the purchase by an individual of agricultural produce for his own consumption, and
(c) the sale or purchases of agricultural produce through retail sale.
5. Market committee
(1) There shall be a Market Committee for every market area.
(2) Every market committee shall be a body corporate by such name as the State Government may specify shall have subject to the provision of sub-section (4) of section 3 perpetual succession and a common seal, may sue and be sued in its own name, shall acquire, hold and dispose of property both movable and immovable, enter into contracts and do all such things as may, from time to time, be necessary for carrying out the functions of this Act:
Provided that save as the State Government may, be general or special order, direct, no market committee shall permanently transfer any immovable property except in pursuance of a resolution passed at a meeting of the market committee by not less than three-fourths of its members and with previous sanction of the State Government.
(3) The State Government shall, by notification, constitute a market committee consisting of the following members: (3) The State Government shall, by notification, constitute a market committee consisting of the following members: (3) The State Government shall, by notification, constitute a market committee consisting of the following members:
(a) two officers of the State Government of whom at least one shall be an officer of the directorate of Agricultural Marketing, West Bengal, having jurisdiction over the area for which the market committee is constituted or any part of such area;
(b) one person to represent the members of any co-operative marketing society carrying on business in the market area, or if there is no such co-operative marketing society any other co-operative society carrying on business in such area;
(c) one person representing the bank financing the market committee:-
Provided that in case where financing by bank is not done, the State Government may nominate a representative of any other bank functioning in or near the market area;
(d) one person representing the local authority having jurisdiction over the market area or any part thereof;
(dd) two persons representing the small growers;
Explanation:- In this clause “small grower” means a grower owning, or having in his possession, less then two hectares of agricultural land;
(ddd) the member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly elected thereto from the constituency comprising the principal market yard or the major part of it:
Provided that where a market committee was constituted prior to the commencement of the West Bengal Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) (Amendment) Act, 1981, with more than one member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly as members of the market committee, the State Government may declare the names of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and other members of the market committee by fresh notification under section 6 with only one member of the West Bengal
Legislative Assembly as a member of the market committee under this clause and upon such declaration the other members of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly who were members of the market committee prior to such declaration shall be deemed to have vacated there offices as members of the market committee;
(e) five persons representing the agriculturists of the market area; and
(f) two persons representing the licensed traders doing business in agricultural produce in the market area:
Provided that a market committee constitute under this sub-section may consist of the members mentioned in clauses (a), (b), (d) and (e). The other members of the market committee may, subject to provision of sub-section(5), be appointed subsequently.
(3A) Notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, decree or order of any court, a market committee constituted with the members mentioned in clauses (a),(b),(d) and (e) of sub-section (3) shall be deemed to have been duly constituted under that sub-section, and any action taken, any order made, any notice issued, any fee imposed or realised, any direction given, any decision taken, any punishment a warded or any authority or power or jurisdiction exercised by such market committee under this Act shall be deemed to have been validly taken, made, issued, imposed or realised, given, taken awarded or exercised under this Act, and shall not be called in question in any court.
(4) The State Government may, at any time, by order issued in this behalf increase the representation of members mentioned in clauses (e) and (f) of sub-section (3) to seven and three respectively.
(5) The members of every market committee constituted under sub-section (3) shall be appointed by the State Government.
(6) The State Government shall appoint one from among the members of the market committee to the chairman who shall be the executive head of the market committee and another to be the Vice-Chairman of the market committee.
(7) The term of office of the members of the market committee save as otherwise provided in this Act, shall be three years from the date of notification under sub-section (3) and shall include any further period which may elapse between the expiration of the said period of three years and the date of the first meeting of the succeeding market committee at which a quorum is present:
Provided that a member of a market committee may, on expiry of his term of office, be re-appointed:
Provided further that the term of office of a member of a market committee appointed at any time subsequent to constitution of such market committee under the proviso to sub-section (3) shall expire simultaneously with the expiry of the term of office of the other members constituting such market committee.
6. Date of constitution of market committee.
The names of Chairman and Vice-Chairman appointed under subsection (6) of section 5 with the other members of a market committee shall be declared by the State Government by notification, but such market.
Committee shall be deemed to be duly constituted from the date of notification under sub-section (3) of section 5:
Provided that the notifications constituting market committee prior to the commencement of the West Bengal Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) (Amendment) Act, 1981, shall be deemed to have been issued under sub-section (3) of section (5).
7. Disqualification of members
(1) No person who…
(a) is an employee of the market committee, or
(b) has been declared by a competent court to be of unsound mind, or
(c) is an undischarged insolvent, or
(d) has been convicted by a court of law for an offence involving moral turpitude,
shall be eligible to be appointed as a member of any market committee.
(2) No members of a market committee shall, if the ceases to represent the category of person referred to in sub-section (3) of section 5 from which he was appointed, continue in office as such member.
8. Terms and condition for holding office
The members of every market committee shall hold office on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.The members of every market committee shall hold office on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.The members of every market committee shall hold office on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.