March 25, 2021 2:24:09 am
Opposing the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for farmers, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking early resolution of the matter in view of the next rabi season.
The CM, who has also sought time from Modi for a meeting on the issue, sought his personal indulgence to issue appropriate directions to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to defer the implementation of the scheme for at least one year.
The ahrtiyas and farmers have long-standing relations, he pointed out, questioning the need to change the system when it was working very well. Around 50% farmers give their land on contract, so how will those who till the land get their money under DBT, the CM said at a media event.
In his letter, Amarinder drew the PM’s attention to the ministry’s directions, asking the Punjab government to ensure direct payment to farmers along with online submission of the details of land owners/ cultivators. Pointing to the age-old relationship that Punjab has between the commission agents, i.e.. arhtiyas, who are licensees under the Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act, 1961, and farmers, he noted that for the past many decades, the state procurement agencies and FCI have been procuring foodgrains for the central pool.
The farmers have never complained of non-receipt of payment of MSP, and the state government is ensuring online payment to farmers, albeit through these arhtiyas, he added. Further, the CM said, the land ownership and tenancy issues may give rise to various avoidable legal complications, especially during the ongoing farmers’ agitation. This, he said, “may also cause avoidable unrest and anguish among the farmers”. He noted that bringing the software in line with the proposed directions shall take considerable time.
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