BJP MP Dharambir Singh has flagged what he termed as a “major flaw” in the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government’s much-touted Bhavantar Bharpai scheme, claiming “only Rs 10 paisa per kg tomatoes is being given as price differential to the farmers forced to opt for distress sale.”
Bhiwani-Mahendragarh MP, Dharambir Singh, who had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on hardships faced by farmers, has now written a demi-official letter to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on June 27 regarding Bhavantar Bharpai scheme, detailing losses incurred by the farmers.
To prevent losses to the farmers in cases of distress sale, the government had launched the scheme that offers minimum prices to four vegetables. Under the scheme, the government is supposed to ensure minimum output (price) at the rate of Rs 4 per kg tomatoes. As per the concept, if a registered farmer gets just Rs 2 per kg from the vegetables market, then the government will offer remaining Rs 2 as compensation to fill the gap of minimum price.
In his letter, Dharambir Singh said the government had calculated Rs 3.90 per kg as average price of tomatoes in keeping in view prices of the vegetables in mandis across the state, including Ambala and Gurgaon.
Now, if the farmers of those areas who were forced to sell their tomatoes at the rate of just Rs 1 per kg, they will get only 10 paisa while they should be compensated at the rate of Rs 3 per kg.
“I have heard that the price of tomatoes is Rs 7 per kg in a district while it’s just Rs 2 per kg in Bhiwani, Narnaul and Dadri districts. The prices are different in Gurgaon, Ambala, Hisar and other districts… If a Bhiwani farmer asks for compensation under the Bhavantar Yojna, then he is being given just 10 paisa (per kg). The farmers are facing major losses because of high input cost in the agriculture ,” Dharambir Singh wrote.
“To avoid transportation losses, a farmer from Bhiwani will sell his tomatoes to his neighbouring mandi only,” he said. The MP has demanded that the farmers be compensated keeping in view the rates of mandis concerned.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Director-General of Haryana horticulture department, Arjun Singh Saini admitted that the issue had come to their notice. “There is always scope for improvement. We will call a meeting shortly as we have received some complaints from the farmers. At some mandis, the farmers could not get due benefit of the scheme. Initially, we did not fix prices at mandi level to avoid any manipulation by the traders in small mandis because they could have brought down the prices artificially to exploit the scheme. But now, we will review it,” said Saini.
The Haryana government had, in December last year, had announced the Bhavantar Bharpai scheme which, on the lines of minimum support price (MSP), to offer “input cost” for four vegetable crops. According to State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Om Prakash Dhankar, Haryana, is the first state to introduce such a concept.