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Good News! Punjab Government agrees to implement Direct Bank Transfer for Farmers

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Farmer from Punjab

Punjab farmers should expect direct online MSP payments starting with the forthcoming procurement season, after the Centre dismissed the state's request for yet another DBT exemption on Thursday.

After a nearly two-hour meeting with Food Minister Piyush Goyal, who categorically assured the state that the Centre will allow procurements and repay relevant costs only if the state pays directly to farmers rather than through arhtiyas, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said, "We have no alternative and choice."

“Our petitions for relief from the DBT route have been denied by the minister, and we now have no alternative. If the state wants to pay farmers by arhtiyas, the minister said it would have to make its own procurement arrangements. So we don't have a choice,” Badal said.

Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Punjab's food minister, said the state would find a way to pay farmers directly and have some security for arhtiyas. According to him, the CM has scheduled a meeting with arhtiyas for tomorrow. In the meantime, the Centre has decided to give Punjab a six-month extension to link its land records to the national e-procurement platform.

The Centre announced today that 15 procuring states had begun making DBT payments to farmers, and that Punjab, which had previously received three waivers, would not be eligible for any more.

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