ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Great Expectations

prices and precludes the public sector agencies from playing their due role in the open market. Even though the APC has been submitting its reports on statutory minimum prices for the past several years the government did not take any particular cognisance of them and in many cases the prices were not even announced. Procurement prices, fixed through the APC, were however made the basis for price fixation and this, coupled with the assurance that all that was brought to the market would be lifted at the procurement price so fixed converted the procurement price into the minimum support price. This might have been the right thing to do in conditions of shortage and when a buffer stock was in the process of being built up. Time has come when this situation must end if the prices of agricultural products are to have some flexibility and relevance to prevailing market conditions. APC should no longer be asked to fix procurement prices; its function should be only to fix the statutory minimum prices. Procurement should be the responsibility of the procuring agencies which will function in the market and make purchases at market prices.

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