Even as the district authorities are claiming to have made the wheat procurement process at grain markets completely hassle free, but the farmers and commission agents are worried as they have not received payments of procured grain from the government so far.
The district authorities have reportedly not received funds due to the delay by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in sanctioning the Rs 20,000 crore cash-credit limit (CCL), which the chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal led-government had sought for wheat procurement.
It is learnt that sanctioning of the CCL has been delayed following massive stocks of food grain, that Punjab procured, were allegedly found missing from godowns.
The district food civil supplies and consumer affairs department claimed to have procured 1.54 lakh metric tonnes of wheat since April 1 when the procurement began.
The commission agents are claiming that they have not received a single penny to pay the farmers as advance and they are waiting for payment from the government agencies so that they could further disburse the same.
“Normally, the government used to credit the amount in our accounts in a day or two, but this time, we have not received even a single penny, due to which we are being forced to pay farmers from our own pockets or else risk their annoyance by delaying payments,” a commission agent said.
Gurmel Singh, a farmer who sold his crop harvested from 20 acres, said the state government was claiming that farmers would get payments for their produce within 48 hours of procurement but they had not received payments for their crop even several days after procurement.
Gurbinder Singh, another farmer, said he had sold the crop from his 14 acres land, but had not received payment for the same so far.
Rajnish Kumari, district food and supply controller, said, “The government has not yet credited the amount required for paying the commission agents. We will immediately disburse payments in accounts of commission agents after getting funds from the government, so that farmers can be paid in a time-bound manner.”