The Spices Board has come out against firms or entities conducting cardamom auctions without obtaining a license, saying that it is illegal and any violation in this regard should be dealt with seriously.

The Director (Marketing) of Spices Board, in a statement, said cardamom auction has been carried out through e-auction centres at Puttady in Idukki and Bodinayakanur in Tamil Nadu established by the Board as well as manual auctions in other states. The Board issued a license to the auctioneers to conduct cardamom auctions.

The board told stakeholders in the cardamom industry that no person will carry on business as an auctioneer or a dealer of cardamom without a license issued under the provisions of the Cardamom (Licensing and Marketing) Rules 1987 and amendments of the Spices Board Act 1986, and such order instructions issued from time to time by the Board for the development of the cardamom industry.

The Spices Board directive comes in the wake of running parallel auctions by some four to five firms without any license in Bodinayakanur, Kombai in Tamil Nadu, Kumili, and Kuzhitholu near Vandanmedu in Idukki which is impacting participation of stakeholders in authorized auction centres. Such illegal auctions have also affected farmers and dealers and are hitting price realization of the commodity, an official working with a licensed auctioneer said.

These companies started parallel auctions around two years back, forcing some individual farmers to approach the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court against the Spices Board for a legal remedy. The Central Government has also given an undertaking that necessary steps would be taken to stop the parallel auctions, the official said.

Meanwhile, cardamom prices have started moving up reaching ₹1,750 per kg mainly because of rising export and domestic demand. The ensuing Ramadan in April next year has facilitated many buyers in the Gulf countries to procure more cardamom which has given a boost to the sector, the official added.

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