July 17, 2024

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

Graduation of rabi procurement is just a week absent (predicted April 10), but no finish is in sight to the stand-off between the Centre and the Punjab governing administration in excess of immediate payments for the foodgrains procured. Ironically, nobody, which includes farmers who are ostensibly the beneficiaries of the immediate money transfer, is satisfied with the shift.

The Ministry of Buyer Affair, Food stuff and Public Distribution experienced educated the Punjab governing administration that DBT to farmers is obligatory for the coming rabi wheat procurement season. Even so, the Condition has refused to put into practice it, and has sought appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explore the challenge and defer the scheme for at least 1 calendar year.

Arhtiyas opposed to shift

Arhtiyas, or commission brokers, in Punjab are up in arms against the shift. In accordance to them, it is aimed at destroying APMC (Agricultural Make Marketing Committee) mandis and supplying everything on a platter to private gamers, whom the BJP-led NDA governing administration at the Centre wants to market.

“The latest method of payment ( by commission brokers) has been in location for the very last 50 years and has labored well. Even farmers do not have any problems about it. We have been having to pay down to the very last penny to farmers promptly,” mentioned Vijay Kalra, President, Federation of Arhtiya Association of Punjab. Arhtiyas approach to maintain a key protest satisfy in Moga on Monday, in which several farmers leaders are also predicted to take part.

Cumbersome for farmers

Balbir Singh Rajewal, President, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal), mentioned the shift is not in favour of farmers in the Condition. “It is going to make it cumbersome for farmers to provide their produce at procurement centres. Every time a farmer normally takes the produce to the mandi, he has to produce proof of his landholding. Just about forty for every cent of land in Punjab is owned by absentee landlords who have given their land to tenants for cultivation. Nevertheless the Centre argues that this kind of tenants can register their contracts with landlords in order to get the DBT, how several landlords would arrive ahead as they will concern getting rid of their holdings to tenants who have been tilling the land for several years,” asked Rajewal.

He mentioned the DBT challenge arrived up a number of years ago when Parkash Singh Badal was the Main Minister. “When that governing administration sought the opinion of farmers on this challenge, only three farmers supported it. The farmers have self-confidence in commission brokers, who have been generating payments to them promptly,” Rajewal informed BusinessLine.

In accordance to Kalra, insistence of land documents as proof led to 22 for every cent less paddy procurement in Haryana in the preceding kharif season.The shift, he says, is only an endeavor to dismantle the Food stuff Company of India so that private firms can acquire its location. Farmers across the nation will maintain demonstrations against any shift to scrap the FCI, Rajewal additional.

‘Wrong timing’

Another farmer leader, mentioned the timing of the Centre was incorrect, even even though he was not solely against the strategy. “It is currently being implemented in the midst of a farmer agitation. Next, there must have been a guide time of at least six months for bringing this kind of a drastic improve, not just 1 month as is the case now,” he mentioned.

Gurdeep Kamra of the Fee Brokers Association in Haryana, which implemented the scheme this calendar year, mentioned the DBT will not work and Haryana would see a large quantity of farmers hitting the road as payments are not going to be smooth.

“While arhtiyas would get two.five for every cent commission for the providers they offer you this kind of as procurement, their involvement in procurement is going to be constrained in the new method. Before, arhtiyas utilised to guarantee the high quality of grains they procured. But now on they will procure whatsoever the farmers deliver in. If the high quality of grains is inferior (this kind of as high dampness ranges) their payments could get caught, primary to key disgruntlement amid farmers,” Kamra mentioned, expressing self-confidence that the Condition would revert to the earlier method from extremely subsequent calendar year.