New Amendments To General Grading and Marking Rules

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has notified the General Grading and Marking (Amendment) Rules, 2024, to strengthen enforcement mechanisms for agricultural produce quality standards. The amendment rules were published on July 5, 2024.

The amendment rules have revised the General Grading and Marking Rules, 1988.

The amendment introduces definitions for “Adjudicating Officer” and “Inquiry” for improved clarity in enforcement procedures.

It also lays down the following penalties for offenses:

  • Grading or marking agricultural products without authorization.
  • Counterfeiting grade designation marks.
  • Selling misgraded or unmarked scheduled articles

Adjudication Process

Authorized officers will report suspected violations to an Adjudicating Officer. The Adjudicating Officer will conduct inquiries, allowing the accused to present evidence.

Penalties will be determined based on factors like the severity of the offense and potential harm caused. Orders must be issued within 90 days of the initial hearing.

Appeal Process

  1. Individuals can appeal orders within 30 days to the Agricultural Marketing Advisor.
  2. Appeals must be submitted in writing and include relevant details.
  3. A fee of 10% of the imposed penalty or a minimum of ₹2000 needs to be paid.
  4. Appeals will be decided within 60 days.

These amendments seek to maintain quality standards and fair practices in the agricultural sector.

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