Built Business Tough

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

Graduation of rabi procurement is just a 7 days absent (envisioned April ten), but no conclusion is in sight to the stand-off between the Centre and the Punjab government more than direct payments for the foodgrains procured. Ironically, no one, which includes farmers who are ostensibly the beneficiaries of the direct money transfer, is delighted with the transfer.

The Ministry of Consumer Affair, Food and General public Distribution had educated the Punjab government that DBT to farmers is mandatory for the coming rabi wheat procurement time. Nonetheless, the Point out has refused to put into practice it, and has sought appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to focus on the situation and defer the scheme for at minimum a person calendar year.

Arhtiyas opposed to transfer

Arhtiyas, or fee agents, in Punjab are up in arms in opposition to the transfer. In accordance to them, it is aimed at destroying APMC (Agricultural Make Advertising and marketing Committee) mandis and providing all the things on a platter to personal gamers, whom the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre would like to endorse.

“The present-day system of payment ( through fee agents) has been in put for the final 50 several years and has labored nicely. Even farmers do not have any complaints about it. We have been spending down to the final penny to farmers immediately,” mentioned Vijay Kalra, President, Federation of Arhtiya Association of Punjab. Arhtiyas system to keep a significant protest satisfy 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 likely to make it cumbersome for farmers to sell their deliver at procurement centres. Every single time a farmer usually takes the deliver to the mandi, he has to deliver proof of his landholding. Approximately 40 for each cent of land in Punjab is owned by absentee landlords who have specified their land to tenants for cultivation. Nevertheless the Centre argues that these tenants can sign-up their contracts with landlords in get 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 several years,” questioned Rajewal.

He mentioned the DBT situation came up a number of several years in the past when Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister. “When that government sought the opinion of farmers on this situation, only 3 farmers supported it. The farmers have self esteem in fee agents, who have been building payments to them immediately,” Rajewal advised BusinessLine.

In accordance to Kalra, insistence of land documents as proof led to 22 for each cent a lot less paddy procurement in Haryana in the previous kharif time.The transfer, he suggests, is only an endeavor to dismantle the Food Company of India so that personal organizations can choose its put. Farmers throughout the region will keep demonstrations in opposition to any transfer to scrap the FCI, Rajewal included.

‘Wrong timing’

One more farmer leader, mentioned the timing of the Centre was mistaken, even though he was not fully in opposition to the thought. “It is being implemented in the midst of a farmer agitation. Next, there ought to have been a lead time of at minimum 6 months for bringing these a drastic change, not just a person thirty day period as is the situation now,” he mentioned.

Gurdeep Kamra of the Commission Agents Association in Haryana, which implemented the scheme this calendar year, mentioned the DBT will not operate and Haryana would see a large quantity of farmers hitting the street as payments are not likely to be smooth.

“While arhtiyas would get two.5 for each cent fee for the companies they provide these as procurement, their involvement in procurement is likely to be confined in the new system. Earlier, arhtiyas used to make sure the quality of grains they procured. But now on they will procure whatever the farmers deliver in. If the quality of grains is inferior (these as significant dampness degrees) their payments may well get caught, major to significant disgruntlement amid farmers,” Kamra mentioned, expressing self esteem that the Point out would revert to the earlier system from really following calendar year.