Warehousing: The government proposes higher penalties for violations under the Warehouse Regulation and Development Act

The Center has proposed amendments to Storage The Development and Regulation Act (WDRA) 2007 to make registration of the two temples mandatory and sharply raise the punishment for various crimes, says a senior official in the Food Ministry. In the amendment bill, the government also proposed a simplified registration process, acceptance of negotiable receipts in electronic form only, and more powers for the Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) to investigate, take enforcement action, impose financial penalty and issue court rulings.

The official added that apart from that, the government had proposed abolishing up to three years of imprisonment for various offences, but had proposed a significant increase in the sentence from the current 1 lakh rupees for various offences.

According to the official, the Food Ministry has already sought ministerial comments on the proposed changes to the law and will soon seek cabinet approval.

After that, the amendment bill is likely to go to Parliament’s seasonal session.

Since the recording is optional, the number of Warehouses Registered with WDRA is too low.

There are about 60,000 warehouses in the country. Among them, 4,700 are registered warehouses with the regulator, but only 2,910 are active, the official added.

After the amendment bill is passed in Parliament, the government will register third-party repositories which is done in phases.

The official added that in the first phase, the focus will be on warehouses with a capacity of more than 5,000 tons, followed by warehouses with a capacity of more than 1,000-5,000 tons, and then warehouses with a capacity of more than 100 tons.

The official added that WDRA registration ensures proper infrastructure and scientific storage of goods. It will give confidence to banks to increase post-harvest loans and increase rural liquidity and farmers’ income.

This will increase pledge funding against tradable electronic storage receipts and will establish uniform warehouse standards that improve efficiency and ease of doing business.

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