Rabi procurement: Stand-off continues over direct payments to Punjab farmers

Truman Slate

Graduation of rabi procurement is just a week absent (envisioned April 10), but no finish is in sight to the stand-off involving the Centre and the Punjab governing administration in excess of direct payments for the foodgrains procured. Ironically, no one, which includes farmers who are ostensibly the beneficiaries of the direct funds transfer, is content with the transfer.

The Ministry of Customer Affair, Food and Community Distribution experienced educated the Punjab governing administration that DBT to farmers is required for the coming rabi wheat procurement season. Even so, the Point out has refused to put into practice it, and has sought appointment with Primary Minister Narendra Modi to examine the situation and defer the scheme for at minimum one year.

Arhtiyas opposed to transfer

Arhtiyas, or fee brokers, in Punjab are up in arms towards the transfer. In accordance to them, it is aimed at destroying APMC (Agricultural Produce Internet marketing Committee) mandis and giving anything on a platter to personal gamers, whom the BJP-led NDA governing administration at the Centre wishes to market.

“The latest method of payment ( by means of fee brokers) has been in location for the very last 50 years and has labored properly. Even farmers do not have any issues about it. We have been paying out down to the very last penny to farmers immediately,” mentioned Vijay Kalra, President, Federation of Arhtiya Association of Punjab. Arhtiyas system to hold a main protest meet up with in Moga on Monday, in which lots of farmers leaders are also envisioned to take part.

Cumbersome for farmers

Balbir Singh Rajewal, President, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal), mentioned the transfer is not in favour of farmers in the Point out. “It is heading to make it cumbersome for farmers to market their deliver at procurement centres. Every time a farmer will take the deliver to the mandi, he has to deliver proof of his landholding. Approximately forty for every cent of land in Punjab is owned by absentee landlords who have supplied their land to tenants for cultivation. While the Centre argues that these tenants can sign-up their contracts with landlords in order to get the DBT, how lots of landlords would arrive forward as they will worry shedding their holdings to tenants who have been tilling the land for lots of years,” requested Rajewal.

He mentioned the DBT situation came up a couple of years ago when Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister. “When that governing administration sought the belief of farmers on this situation, only a few farmers supported it. The farmers have assurance in fee brokers, who have been producing payments to them immediately,” Rajewal instructed BusinessLine.

In accordance to Kalra, insistence of land information as proof led to 22 for every cent a lot less paddy procurement in Haryana in the former kharif season.The transfer, he claims, is only an endeavor to dismantle the Food Company of India so that personal corporations can acquire its location. Farmers across the region will hold demonstrations towards any transfer to scrap the FCI, Rajewal extra.

‘Wrong timing’

A different farmer chief, mentioned the timing of the Centre was completely wrong, even however he was not entirely towards the idea. “It is currently being implemented in the midst of a farmer agitation. Secondly, there must have been a lead time of at minimum 6 months for bringing these a drastic improve, not just one month as is the situation now,” he mentioned.

Gurdeep Kamra of the Fee Brokers Association in Haryana, which implemented the scheme this year, mentioned the DBT will not get the job done and Haryana would see a large number of farmers hitting the road as payments are not heading to be sleek.

“While arhtiyas would get 2.five for every cent fee for the providers they give these as procurement, their involvement in procurement is heading to be limited in the new method. Previously, arhtiyas used to ensure the top quality of grains they procured. But now on they will procure whatever the farmers convey in. If the top quality of grains is inferior (these as large humidity degrees) their payments may possibly get trapped, leading to main disgruntlement among farmers,” Kamra mentioned, expressing assurance that the Point out would revert to the earlier method from extremely upcoming year.

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