April 12, 2021 1:42:15 am
WHILE ONE of Punjab’s two main arhtiyas associations are still on strike against the government’s decision of direct payment to farmers (DBT), the second day of wheat procurement in the state, the districts’ grain markets received a whopping 1.19 lakh metric tonnes of the crop Sunday.
Over the past two days, state mandis received 1.69 lakh metric tonnes of wheat.
Patiala district received the highest amount of wheat in two days at 40,645 tonnes, followed by Sangrur and Mansa districts with 39,925 and 25,365 tonnes, respectively. Faridkot and Bathinda districts also witnessed an arrival of 16,880 tonnes and 11, 555 tonnes of wheat.
Government agencies have already procured 57, 374 LMT out of the total arrival and 1.11 LMT has been lying unsold in the mandis. Only 340 tonnes of purchased wheat was transported to the government godowns and the remaining purchased stock is still in the mandis.
Ravinder Singh Cheema, president of Arhtiya Association Punjab, which is still on strike, said that they will get the wheat unloaded in their yard when the farmers bring it to the mandi but procurement process, which included cleaning, weighing, filling and loading for government’s godowns, will not proceed till their demand of paying farmers through arhtiyas are not met by the government.
Farmer Navraj Singh of Kapur village said he brought his crop to Jalandhar grain market on Sunday and his arhtiyas got it unloaded but told him that they were on strike and will not help the government in the procurement. “In such cases, we have to wait in the mandis till the arhtiyas strike gets over, which is not safe right now as Covid cases are rising. Now the government must solve these problems to save the farmers,” he said.
“We are happy that government has started direct payment and now arhtiyas must cooperate because they are getting their arht (commission) as before at the rate of 2.5 per cent and farmers also have the right to get the money of his crop in his account as he will pay arhtiyas whatever loan he has taken from him, so why are arhtiyas worried about it,” said another farmer, Gujinder Singh, facing the same problems while sitting in the mandi with his 300 quintal wheat crop, adding that farmers will never cheat arhtiyas because they (farmers) are dependent on them for every crop and take advances from them.
Five districts out of 22 including four districts, which include Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts, of Majha region and Nawanshahr of Doaba region had not received wheat in their mandis till Sunday.
Due to Covid, farmers are bringing their crop turnwise and passes are being issued. Till Sunday, 1.10 lakh passes were issued.
Out of around 2,800 mandis including 1,871 main and 928 temporary 1922 are operational at the moment including 1,570 main and 352 temporary mandis.
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