Haryana govt to charge interest from arhityas for delaying wheat payment
Commission agents cry foul, say the new online payment system delayed the transactionsUpdated: Jun 28, 2020, 00:17 IST
The Haryana government has decided to charge interest from commission agents for not depositing the wheat payment in the account of farmers on time.
According to the information obtained from the Haryana agriculture marketing board, the department had identified 13,610 commission agents in the state, who did not make payments of farmers within 72 hours. They will now be asked to pay Rs 28 crore as interest to about 1.87 lakh farmers.
As per officials, the government has prepared a district-wise list of such arhtiyas. “We have provided the data of commission agents who did not deposit payment in the accounts of farmers as per the schedule,” said Sumedha Kataria, chief administrator, state agriculture marketing board.
Additional chief secretary (ACS) food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, PK Das, said, “Notices will be issued to the commission agents if they fail to pay the interest amount to the farmers. Then, the money will be recovered from their commission amount.”
Officials in the state food and supplies department said the government has made this decision to fulfil its commitment to farmers wherein it had promised that they would get their payments within 72 hours.
“If the commission agents do not deposit the interest amount in the accounts of farmers, they may face action, which includes blacklisting or cancellation of their licence,” one of the officials said.
However, commission agents have claimed that the payments were not delayed by them, but the government.
It was the government which delayed the payments of farmers by 15 to 20 days due to online transactions, they alleged.
“We will approach the government and ask it to also pay interest to the commission agents as well as farmers as the payments were delayed by 10 to 20 days due to the new online payment system initiated by the government,” said Vikash Singhal, secretary of Haryana State Anaj Mandi Arhtiya Association.
As per the figures provided by the food and supplies department, the state government had procured 78 lakh MT wheat at the minimum support price of Rs 1,925.
Following the directions of the Centre, the Haryana government had taken an initiative to make online payments to commission agents and they were told to further pay the farmers within 72 hours.