Proposal to Amend Warehousing Act

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    In News 

    • The Union Food and Public Distribution Ministry has suggested major amendments to the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act of 2007. 

    About the Amendment 

    •  The amendment was to make registration of godowns compulsory and to raise the penalty for various offences and to do away with the jail term as a punishment for the offences.
    • At present, the registration with the Warehousing Development and Regulation Authority (WDRA) is optional. 
      • After the proposed amendment registration of all third party warehouses throughout the country will be undertaken in a phased manner
      • The Central government will have powers to exempt any class of warehouses from registration with the Authority
        • This will ensure a gradual and non-disruptive change to a regulated warehousing system,
    • The aim is to help farmers get access to the service of quality warehouses.

    Significance 

    • If amended, the Act will help in doing away with accreditation agencies.
      • Accreditation Agencies are not required, as the process was time-consuming, prone to malpractices and led to complaints.

    About the act 

    • The WDRA was established in 2010 to ensure scientific storage by prescribing infrastructural and procedural standards. 
    • Captive warehouses such as those of the Food Corporation of India are excluded from the ambit of the Act. 
    • The Act wants to establish a system of negotiable and non-negotiable warehouse receipt (NWR) which is now in electronic form. 
      • The Centre wanted to make NWR a tool of trade to improve fiduciary trust of depositors and banks in the Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System.

    Source:TH