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

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Commission Agent System

What Ought To Be Done

Responding to the critique of their article on the commission agent system in Punjab, the authors highlight the perils of private solutions to agrarian problems. They propose an enhanced role of the public sector in obliterating the exploitative stronghold of arthiya system in order to protect the interests of farmers and address the problems of Punjab's agrarian economy.

Sukhpal Singh’s article on “Arthiyas in Punjab’s APMC Mandis: Inadequate Analysis and Solutions” that appeared in EPW on 9 April 2016 is a critique of the article “Commission Agent System: Significance in Contemporary Agricultural Economy of Punjab” published in EPW by us on 7 November 2015. The economists and thinkers debating on inherent problems of commission agent (arthiya) system point to the broad realisation of the gravity of this issue.

Both articles advocate curtailing the role of this system in the agrarian economy but with different road maps. The original article stresses on the role of the public sector, whereas the critic looks upon the ongoing process of liberalisation as a measure to remove the middlemen.

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