The Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007 has come into force with effect from 25th October, 2010. The Government has also decided to constitute Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) under the Act with effect from today, 26th October, 2010 with the publication of the relevant notification in the official Gazette.
The legislation was enacted by Parliament in September, 2007. Besides mandating the negotiability of warehouse receipt, it prescribes the form and manner of registration of warehouses and issue of Negotiable Warehouse Receipts including electronic format and prescribes establishment of Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA), a regulatory body under the Act. The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than two members. The Regulatory Authority will register and accredit warehouses intending to issue negotiable warehouse receipts and install a system of quality certification and grading of commodities with a view to protecting the interests of holders of warehouse receipts against negligence, malpractices and fraud.
The introduction of negotiable warehouse receipt system in the country will not only help farmers avail better credit facilities and avoid distress sale but will also safeguard financial institutions by mitigating risks inherent in credit extension to farmers. The pledging/collaterization of agricultural produce with a legal support in the form of negotiable warehouse receipts will lead to increase in flow of credit to rural areas, reduce cost of credit and will spur related activities like standardization grading, packaging and insurance and in development of chain of quality warehouses.