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Direct Payment in Farmers' Account has Started in Punjab

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma
Punjab farmers are happy after receiving the money of his crop in their account directly
Punjab farmers are happy after receiving the money of his crop in their account directly

Dalip Kumar (39), of Nilpur village near Rajpura, said he is the happiest he has ever been in his 15 years spent as a farmer. The reason is two text messages that he has received on his phone, getting the credit of Rs 1.90 lakh and Rs 1.48 lakh into his bank account as the minimum support price (MSP) of 171 quintals of wheat that he sold in Rajpura mandi.

Dalip sold the produce of around 10 acres of his land to the mandi. He doe farming in 40 acres and will sell the remaining wheat for procurement in the coming days. At the MSP of Rs 1,975 per quintal, he said this is the first time he would get his hands on such a large sum in one go.

 

"Direct payment is the finest system. What can be better than getting paid for our crop in our account?" he added. "Earlier, Arthiyas gave us a cheque. After we took our harvest to the mandi, everything was in the hands of the agent. The final settlement of accounts took time, as the Arthiyas always found an excuse to defer the payment even after the farmer had repaid any debts he might have had."

Dalip is one of the first three Punjab farmers to get direct payment into his account of wheat MSP. Pushed by the Centre, the state government has implemented the direct payment system for the first time in the face of stiff opposition from the politically and financially powerful Arthiyas associations.

 

Tarlochan Singh (49) of Bhurara village in Chamkaur Sahib of Ropar district has got Rs 1.56 lakh in his account to produce 3 acres out of his 12 acres of land under wheat.He said he has been farming for more than two decades and was happy with the new system.

 

Gulzar Singh (50), from a village in Ludhiana, said he had harvested wheat on 20 out of his 25 acres and sold it at the Khanna mandi, one of the biggest in the region. "I have got some amount in my bank, but I cannot read as I am not educated. I Will get to know the amount only when my son comes tomorrow," he said. Gulzar is very happy with the system but a little worried about how it might work for the 23 acres of land he has taken on lease. "If the government asks for the land records, I will not be able to provide them because my landlord is in the US," he added.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) recently asks the Punjab government to provide the land records of farmers to transfer MSP payments. The Government advised that about half the farmers are cultivators and not the owners of the land; the Centre gave the solution that Punjab should adopt a model similar to Haryana's, providing details of cultivators the payment of MSP. Payments are being made based on Aadhar and the number of crops being brought to the mandis.

 

Ravi Bhagat, Director, Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, said that following testing and trials, many farmers had started to get MSP payments in their bank accounts.

Farmer leader Jagmohan Singh, the general secretary of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Dakaunda, said the new system would mark a big day in the farmer's life. Farmers are getting the price of their crop in hand for the first time without depending on others.

 

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