Commission agents (arhtiyas) under the banner of Federation of Arhtiyas Association, Punjab, have decided to shut down grain markets across the state from December 25 to 28, to protest against non-payment of their dues.
The association claimed that commission agents, farmers and labourers were still to be paid Rs 5,500 crore for the last paddy procurement season. Vijay Kalra, state president of the association, said in case they were not paid till December 28, agents would block the Ludhiana-Moga road at Jagraon from December 29. He said that despite repeated representations to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the government had failed to clear the dues pending for October and November.
He said, “Though the government cleared payments of over Rs 20,000 crore this season, it has stalled payments of Rs 5,500 crore for reasons best known to it.” He said they had no choice but to protest against the government as besides agents, farmers and labourers were also the ultimate sufferers.