Centre plans compulsory registration of warehouses

The Union government is planning to make registration of all warehouses with a federal regulator mandatory by amending Warehousing Development and Regulation Act 2007, a move that will enable authorities to track food stocks and quantities of various farm commodities stored by traders and farmers across the country in real-time through an online database. Currently, registration of any private warehouse or silo stocking farm produce is optional and these are not required to reveal their stocks. Therefore, there is much opacity about quantities of food stocks in the country. This often helps market players to gouge prices during periods of scarcity, and the government has no way of estimating how much quantities are locally available to take effective anti-inflation measures, the reports added. As per the reports, the government is in the process of finalising an amendment and once an amendment is passed by Parliament, any person desirous of commencing or carrying on the warehousing business issuing warehouse receipts shall make an application to the authority.