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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Bhavantar scheme to be done away with: MinisterEx-CM threatens to take to street

Upset over the government’s decision ex-chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has threatened to take to street in protest if the government does away with the scheme in a bid to avoid offering incentives to farmers

bhopal Updated: Jan 21, 2019 22:23 IST
Ranjan
Ranjan
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
(Photo by Diwakar Prasad/ Hindustan Times ) PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSE
(Photo by Diwakar Prasad/ Hindustan Times ) PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSE (HT File photo)
         

Congress government has decided to do away with much talked about Bhavantar Scheme introduced by the then Shivraj Singh Chouhan led BJP government in 2017 as first of its kind scheme in the country to provide succour to farmers, as per official sources.

Upset over the government’s decision ex-chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has threatened to take to street in protest if the government does away with the scheme in a bid to avoid offering incentives to farmers.

The scheme had been introduced for eight Kharif crops initially as a pilot project in 2017 but the government decided to continue the scheme later.

Under Bhavantar scheme, farmers who got themselves registered with the government sold the agriculture produce to traders at the mandis. If the sale price was lower than the minimum support price (MSP) the government compensated to the farmers by paying to them the difference amount between the MSP and a modal price which was an average price of the particular produce based on its prices in three states including Madhya Pradesh.

Farmers welfare and agriculture development minister Sachin Yadav said, “Bhavantar scheme will be done away with but it doesn’t mean that we are not going to provide incentive to farmers. The previous government misled the farmers in the name of Bhavantar scheme and it didn’t waive loan of farmers. Whereas the Congress government has not only waived loans of the farmers but also are taking a number of measures for their welfare.”

Yadav said the then Shivraj government stopped the payment of bonus to farmers on procurement of wheat and paddy after BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014. Under Bhavantar scheme the then government used the phrase ‘up to Rs 500’ per quintal to provide incentive to the farmers on purchase of soybeat and maize. The phrase suggested that the BJP government didn’t have a good intention to pay a good amount to farmers as the incentive whereas Congress government allocated Rs 1500 crore for farmers.

He said the BJP was spreading rumours that incentive on procurement of wheat had been withdrawn but the fact remained that there was no such decision on the part of the Congress government.

In a letter to chief minister Kamal Nath written on Monday ex-chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “Bhavantar Yojna has been the most important scheme of BJP government and of my chief ministership. My government had decided to provide Rs 500 per quintal to farmers on (sale of) soybean and maize. The decision to do away with Bhavantar scheme suggests that your government wishes to avoid making payment of Rs 500 per quintal to farmers.”

Chouhan warned that if the scheme was discontinued arbitrarily without ensuring adequate price to farmers on their agriculture produce ‘I will be forced to launch an agitation and take to street for farmers’ right’.