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

Graduation of rabi procurement is just a 7 days away (envisioned April 10), but no end is in sight to the stand-off involving the Centre and the Punjab government in excess of immediate payments for the foodgrains procured. Ironically, nobody, which includes farmers who are ostensibly the beneficiaries of the immediate funds transfer, is pleased with the move.

The Ministry of Client Affair, Meals and Community Distribution had informed the Punjab government that DBT to farmers is mandatory for the coming rabi wheat procurement time. Nonetheless, the Point out has refused to employ it, and has sought appointment with Primary Minister Narendra Modi to explore the challenge and defer the scheme for at the very least just one year.

Arhtiyas opposed to move

Arhtiyas, or fee brokers, in Punjab are up in arms versus the move. According to them, it is aimed at destroying APMC (Agricultural Deliver Internet marketing Committee) mandis and giving almost everything on a platter to private gamers, whom the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre needs to endorse.

“The existing procedure of payment ( via fee brokers) has been in area for the previous 50 several years and has labored well. Even farmers do not have any grievances about it. We have been spending down to the previous penny to farmers promptly,” reported Vijay Kalra, President, Federation of Arhtiya Affiliation of Punjab. Arhtiyas plan to hold a big protest fulfill in Moga on Monday, in which a lot of farmers leaders are also envisioned to participate.

Cumbersome for farmers

Balbir Singh Rajewal, President, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal), reported the move is not in favour of farmers in the Point out. “It is going to make it cumbersome for farmers to market their generate at procurement centres. Each and every time a farmer will take the generate to the mandi, he has to generate proof of his landholding. Almost forty 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 kinds of tenants can sign-up their contracts with landlords in order to get the DBT, how a lot of landlords would occur ahead as they will dread dropping their holdings to tenants who have been tilling the land for a lot of several years,” asked Rajewal.

He reported the DBT challenge arrived up a few several years ago when Parkash Singh Badal was the Main Minister. “When that government sought the impression of farmers on this challenge, only 3 farmers supported it. The farmers have self-assurance in fee brokers, who have been building payments to them promptly,” Rajewal informed BusinessLine.

According to Kalra, insistence of land records as proof led to 22 for each cent significantly less paddy procurement in Haryana in the prior kharif time.The move, he claims, is only an attempt to dismantle the Meals Corporation of India so that private organizations can acquire its area. Farmers throughout the country will hold demonstrations versus any move to scrap the FCI, Rajewal added.

‘Wrong timing’

Yet another farmer chief, reported the timing of the Centre was incorrect, even while he was not solely versus the thought. “It is being executed in the midst of a farmer agitation. Next, there really should have been a direct time of at the very least six months for bringing these kinds of a drastic transform, not just just one month as is the scenario now,” he reported.

Gurdeep Kamra of the Fee Agents Affiliation in Haryana, which executed the scheme this year, reported the DBT will not do the job and Haryana would see a large number of farmers hitting the avenue as payments are not going to be clean.

“While arhtiyas would get two.five for each cent fee for the products and services they give these kinds of as procurement, their involvement in procurement is going to be restricted in the new procedure. Before, arhtiyas employed to make sure the excellent of grains they procured. But now on they will procure whatever the farmers deliver in. If the excellent of grains is inferior (these kinds of as significant dampness amounts) their payments may perhaps get caught, top to big disgruntlement among farmers,” Kamra reported, expressing self-assurance that the Point out would revert to the previously procedure from incredibly next year.