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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

50% commission agents still to get smart cards

HT Correspondent  Nawanshahr, April 08, 2013
First Published: 20:15 IST(8/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:23 IST(8/4/2013)

More than 50% of commission agents in the district are yet to receive debit (smart) cards that are to be used by the government to give them payments for work done in wheat procurement.

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This is likely to delay payments, leading to cases of friction between the farmers, agents and the government.

In the last paddy season, the state's premier agency Punjab Grains Procurement Corporation Ltd (PUNGRAIN) faced a lot of flak over the same issue of delayed smart cards and technical snags.

Under the new policy to be implemented this time, payments are to be directly transferred into the accounts of Arthias through 'Kissan Arthia Information and Remittance Online Network' (KAIRON), using the Rupay Debit Card.

Sources said that there were 434 commission agents under three market committees including Banga, Balachaur and Nawanshahr. Of these, 219 agents have received their smart cards, while the rest are either awaiting their cards or are yet to apply.
 
Speaking with Hindustan Times, district mandi officer, Harminder Singh, said, "Under the new system, agents would be issued cards by the eleven participating banks and would have to swipe their cards on machines to be installed in each grain market. After the swiping, payments will be transferred into their accounts by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI)."

He added that the online system would ensure timely disbursement of amounts to agents. He claimed that by April 13, when the procurement season really starts, all agents would have received their cards.

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