The state government’s direct payment scheme, for farmers who bring their produce to the grain markets, has not found a single taker in the district so far.
The scheme was introduced in 2013 to root out mediators or commission agents from the payment scenario.
The scheme aimed at making peasants independent. Under the scheme, the farmers need to get registered, 45 days before the procurement season begins with any of the 12 market committees concerned.
In 2013, no farmer registered during the wheat season. Even though 78 farmers opted for the scheme but withdrew later on. The scenario remained same for 2014, 2015 and this year. As per guidelines, the interested peasants have to submit a form called the S-form.
The said form should specify details such as their name, address and bank account number, so that they can get paid directly from the concerned agency which has purchased their produce.
The agency or buyer can also deposit a cheque with the concerned secretary of market committee within two days of purchase. There are 12 market committees Jalandhar city, Jalandhar Cantonment, Bilga, Nurmahal Goraya, Nakodar, Shahkot, Phillaur, Mehatpur, Lohian, Adampur and Bhogpur, said district mandi officer (DMO) Varinder Kumar Khera. The farmers can submit their S-forms to avail the facility, said Khera.
We have not received a single form, this season, said Khera. We had also started many awareness drives at block and village levels through our sources but to no avail, said Khera.
The farmers still prefer payments from the commission agents, he said.
Of around 5.23 lakh metric tonnes of the paddy procured 75 % payment has been has been cleared in the district, claimed the DMO.
Sources added that agents are like ATMs for the farmers as whenever they need money, they can get cash from them. While, in the direct payment system, farmers have to wait for three days after the procurement is done.
This is the main reason behind the failure of this scheme as farmers used to take loans or advances from the agents when they sowed the crop, said sources.