The state government's direct payment scheme for farmers during the procurement of wheat has not found many takers, particularly in Jalandhar and Nawanshahr where not even a single farmer has registered with the district market committees.
As per the scheme, the farmers who wish to avail the facility of direct payment need to get registered with the market committee concerned 45 days before the procurement season begins.
They have to submit an S-form specifying details such as their name, address and bank account number.
It will help them receive payment directly in their bank accounts or get a cheque from the buyer concerned. Commission agents will issue form-III having payment particulars to farmers who opt for direct payment.
Data collected from the district mandi office reveal that there are 12 market committees — Jalandhar city, Jalandhar Cantonment, Goraya, Nakodar, Shahkot, Phillaur, Mehatpur, Lohian, Adampur and Bhogpur — where farmers can submit S-forms to avail the facility.
Jalandhar district mandi officer Harinder Singh Randhawa said, "Till now, not even a single farmer has collected S-forms from 12 market committees of the district."
He said the poor response might be due to lack of awareness among farmers about the facility.
"Camps to generate awareness about this facility were also organised at the block and village level. Even signboards were installed inside the grain markets," said Randhawa. The state government wanted to ensure a transparent system of payment to farmers, he added.
Nawanshahr district mandi officer Beant Singh said nobody has come for registering for the direct payment scheme announced by state government last year.
Farmers who brought their produce to the grain market said the system of payment through commission agents was better as agents were always available for their help.
Tarsem Singh, a farmer from Gill village, said, "To avail the direct payment scheme, we have to run after agencies, buyers or banks. This is more tiresome as compared to the old method."
He said the commission agents availed them money whenever they needed it. On the other hand, details gathered from Jalandhar mandi office, around 47.08 lakh quintal of wheat have been lifted by various agencies from grain markets of the district till to date out of arrival of 47.18 lakh quintals.