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:-
9. Casual vacancy
.(1) If, at any time, a vacancy occurs in the office a member of a market committee by reason of the non-acceptance of office, or by the removal, death or resignation, the vacancy shall be filled by a fresh appointment of a person belonging to the class which such members represented.
(2) Every person appointed under sub-section (1) shall hold office for the unexpired period of the term of office of members whose place he fills.
10. Removal of members
10. The State Government, by notification, remove any members of a market committee from his office if such members has, in the opinion of the State Government, been guilty of misconduct or neglect of duty or has become disqualified within the meaning of section 7:
Provided that the State Government shall, before passing any order under this section give the person concerned an opportunity of being heard.
10A. Members removal shall not be eligible for re-appointment
No member of the market committee who has been removed from his office on any of the grounds mention in section 10 shall be eligible for reappointment to any market committee.
11. Validity of action of a market committee
No action of a market committee shall be called in question merely by reason of the existence of any vacancy in, or any defect on the constitution of, the market committee at the time of taking such action.
12. Duties and functions of the Market Committee.
(1) Subject to the other provision of this Act, the following shall be the duties and function of a market committee:-
(i) to establish if so required by the State Government market for
the market area providing for facilities in connection with the
marketing of agricultural produce;
(ii) to grant or renew licences, in the manner prescribed, to traders, commission
agents, brokers, weighmen, measurers,, warehousemen, surveyors and other persons or firms referred to in section 13;
(iii) to administer market committee fund referred to in section 19 and maintain the accounts thereof in the prescribed manner;
(iv) to maintain and manage the principal market yard including the sub market yard or yards and to control, regulate and run the market and to regulate the marketing of agricultural produce in the market area in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder;
(v) to keep a set of standard weights and standard measures in each principal market yard and sub market yard against which weighmen and measurement may be checked;
(vi) to collect and furnished such statistics and information relating to every such market yard and the making of agricultural produce as may be required by the director or any other person authorized by him in this behalf;
(vii) to publish and disseminate for the benefit of the general public such market information and other instructions as may be issued by the Director in this behalf;
(viii) to settle disputes between buyers and sellers of agricultural produce or their agents in such manner as may be prescribed;
(ix) to promote grading and standardisation of agricultural produce in such manner as may be prescribed;
(x) to control and regulate admission of persons to the principal market yard or sub market yard or yards and to determine the conditions for the use of the market and to prosecute persons operating without a valid licence in the market area;
(xi) to bring, prosecute or defend any suit, action, proceeding, application or arbitration in regard to any matter;
(xii) to perform such other duties and discharge, such other functions as are imposed or conferred upon it by or under this Act or the rules made thereunder.
(xiii) to frame bye-laws for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder;
(xiv) to inspect and verify scales, weights and measures in use in a market area and also the books of accounts and other documents maintained by the market functionaries in such manner as may be prescribed.
(2) A market committee may delegate to a sub-committee or sub committee constituted by it form amongst its members in such manner as may be prescribed all or any of its functions under this Act in respect of any market over which it has jurisdiction:
Provided that the market committee may accept, reject or revise the decision of such sub-committee or sub-committees.
12A. Power of Market Committee.
Subject to the other provision of this Act, a market committee may, on inspection and verification, confiscate, in such manner as may be prescribed, scales, weights and measures in use in a market area if any of these dose not conform to a standard scale, weight or measure, as the case may be.
(1) After six months from the declaration of any area, as a market area, no person shall within the market area, carry on business or act as a trader, commission agent, broker, weighman, measurer, warehouseman or surveyor, or sale or purchase agricultural produce, or engage in processing or preservation of agricultural produce, or setup, establish or continue a place for storage, sale or purchase of any agricultural produce, except under and in accoudance with the prescribed terms and conditions of a licence issued in this behalf by the market committee notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in fore and irrespective of any licence required and issued under any law for the time being in force:
Provide that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any sale by a producer of his own produce, to retail sale and to purchase by an individual for his own consumption.
(2) Any person desiring to obtain a licence under sub-section (1) may make an application to the market committee in such form and on payment of such fee not exceeding rupees two hundred as may be prescribed.
(3) On receipt of an application under sub-section (2), the market committee may issue the licence in such form, subject to such terms and conditions and for such period as may be prescribed.
(4) Any licence issued under sub-section (3) may be renewed for such period as may be prescribed, by the market committee from time to time on application made in this behalf by licensee and on payment of such fee not exceeding Rupees two hundred as the market committee may fix.
(5) The market committee may refuse to issue or renew any licence under this section in favour of any person if it is satisfied that such person has previously being convicted by a court of law for an offence punishable under this Act.
(6) The market committee may, after giving the holder of a licence under this section an opportunity of showing cause in such manner as may be prescribed, cancel his licence or suspend it for such period as it thinks fit for any breach of the terms and conditions of the licence or for any contravention of the provision of the Act.
(6A) When a licence is cancelled or suspended under sub-section (6), the licence may appeal, in such manner as may be prescribed, to an officer of the State Government not below the rank of a Superintendent of Agricultural Marketing having jurisdiction over the area, as may be specified by the State Government by an order issue in this behalf, and the decision of such officer shall be final.
(7) Where a licence is cancelled or suspended under sub-section (6), the licence shall not be entitled to any compensation therefore, nor shall he be entitled to the refund of any fee paid by him for the licence.
(8) When a licence is lost, destroyed torn or defaced, the market committee shall, on application made in his behalf by the licensee, and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, issue a duplicate licence in the manner prescribed.
14. Officers and employees of the Market Committee
(1) Every Market committee shall have a Secretary to be appointed by the State Government on such terms and condition as may be prescribed:
Provided that the State Government may appoint any officer of the directorate of Agricultural Marketing as secretary of the market committee.
(3) The market committee may appoint such other officers and employees as the Board may sanction.
(4) The salaries and allowances of the officers and employees of the market committee shall be paid from the market committee fund and the market committee shall also provide for the payment of the leave allowance, pension, gratuity and provident fund to all its officers and employees in accordance with such rules relating to the terms and conditions of service of such officers and employees at the market committee may, subject to the approval of the Board, determine.
(5) The market committee or any person dissatisfied with the decision of the Board in respect of any matter under sub-section (3) and (4) may appeal to the State Government in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed.
15. Meetings of the Market Committee.
(1) Every market committee shall hold its meeting at least once in every month.
(1A) The Secretary shall fix the agenda and convene the meeting with the approval of the Chairman of the committee.
(2) The Chairman or in his absence the Vice-Chairman of a market committee shall preside at every meeting of such market committee and in the absence of both, the members present shall elect one from among themselves to preside at such meeting.
(3) Six members shall from quorum for a meeting of the market committee.
(3A) No business shall be transacted at a meeting of a market committee if there be no quorum and the same shall stand adjourned:
provided that no quorum shall be necessary in the case of an adjourned meeting.
(4) Every matter coming before the market committee shall subject to the provision of sub-section (2) of section 5 be decided by a majority of votes of the members present and voting in the meeting and in the case of equality of votes, the president of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
(5) The Chairman and the vice-chairman of the Board or any person authorised by the Board in this behalf and the director any person authorised by him in this behalf shall have the right to attend any meeting of any market committee without any right to vote in such meeting.
16. Duties of the Secretary and other officers and employees
The Secretary and the other officers and employees of the market committee shall discharge such duties as may be entrusted to them by the market committee.