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Friday, May 07, 2021

Punjab farmers say direct payment of crop MSP delayed

Farmer Gurjit Singh at Khanna mandi also sold his 42 quintals crop worth Rs 83,000 on April 13 but even after 11 days he is still waiting for his payment.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Updated: April 26, 2021 2:58:53 pm
DBT schemeFarmers bring wheat on the first day of procurement at grain market at Sahnewal in Ludhiana on Saturday. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Farmer Dharminder Singh had sold 470 quintal wheat at his village’s purchase centre seven days back. The crop was sold after registration on Punjab government’s Anaaj Kharid portal that made him eligible for direct benefit transfer within 48 hours. But seven day down the line, Dharminder, who had grown wheat on 16 acres in Sangrur’s Uhrahan village, is still waiting for his payment to hit the bank account.

“I was thrilled that I will get payment in my account for the first time and that too in 48 hours of the selling of my crop but now seven days have passed and I am still waiting for a message from the bank regarding the amount, a little over Rs 9 lakh, getting credited to my account,” he said.

Dharminder added: “I asked my arhtiya but he told me that his task is now only to register him at the government portal not to get the payment from the government.”

Farmer Gurjit Singh at Khanna mandi also sold his 42 quintals crop worth Rs 83,000 on April 13 but even after 11 days he is still waiting for his payment.

“My registration was done on time, but I am still waiting for payment and now have held the crop of around 7.5 acres at my filed only as there is hardly any space left to keep crop in mandi,” said Gurjit of Rajewal village, adding that government has not delivered on its promise of making payment in 48 hours.

Farmer Jagdeep Singh of Kanoi village in Sangrur too had sold his crop worth Rs 9 lakh on April 14. However, Jagdeep says that so far he has only got Rs 3 lakh and Rs 6 lakh is still pending.

“When I sold the entire Rs 9 lakh crop on a single day then why only one third payment was made; why not the full payment when government has already got the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) from Centre,” asked Jagdeep, adding that despite timely registration, payment is not coming in the accounts of farmers before 7 days on an average after selling the crop.

These are not the isolated cases as hundreds of farmers have complained about not getting money in their accounts directly across Punjab.

It was learnt that details of around 12 lakh farmers were to be uploaded on the Anaaj Kharid portal of the government and this work was assigned to around 28,000 arhtiyas, who have 20 to 200 farmers associated with them. Till date, little over 6 lakh farmers have been registered but the payment could not be made even half of these registered farmers.

Till Wednesday, Punjab Department of Food and Civil Supplies had released Rs 4,700 crore in the accounts of farmers against the purchase of Rs 9,000 crore. wheat till Wednesday. Government agencies had purchased wheat worth Rs 14,117 crore till Friday.

The sources in the Department said that earlier payment used to be made in the accounts of 28,000 arnhtiyas, who used to pay farmers after getting MSP amount in their respective accounts. They added that now registration of 12 lakh farmers is a huge task and delaying the finally payment as every detail has to be reconfirmed to avoid wrong transfer of money.

“Government should have started the work of farmers’ registration much before the beginning of the procurement season to avoid the delays in the payment,” said Harban Singh Rosha, president of Khanna Mandi Arhtiya Association.

Director, Punjab Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Ravi Bhagat, said that they have organised special camps for arthritis in the grain markets across the state for helping them to register farmers on the portal as soon as possible so that farmers can get their payments on time within 48 hours of the registration but some delays are expected in the new system.

“We are getting them registered quickly now. Everything is being sorted slowly and farmers’ payments will be cleared soon,” he said.

 

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