Paddy procurement: Haryana’s paddy farmers, arhtiyas await payment
The government has failed to make good on its promise of paying all commission agents and farmers within 72 hours of paddy procurement. With the festive and sowing season round the corner, the delay has caused consternation among farmers and agricultural workers.
Government agencies have already procured around 30 lakh tonnes or 50% of the 60 lakh tonne target. A farmer, Madan Lal of Indri, Karnal, says, “I sold paddy worth ₹3.5 lakh to the government and am still awaiting payment. I had to borrow money on interest to pay the labourers.”
Another aggrieved farmer, Ramesh Kumar of Yamunanagar, says, “I had sold my produce to the government two weeks ago but am yet to be paid. I had opted for direct payment and so I cannot even take money from the arhtiya.”
Farmers and arhtiyas have been frequenting the local-level officials of the Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board to enquire about the delay.
“Payment of around ₹2 crore is pending with government agencies but it is not clear when the money will be transferred to our accounts, “ says Sohan Lal, a commission agent from Ladwa grain market of Kurukshetra.
₹190 crore payment being processed, say officials
Mandi secretaries have taken up the issue with the higher officers. They have been told that the payment was being processed and will reach their accounts in a day or two.
“I took up the issue of delayed payments with senior officers and they said payment of around ₹30 crore for our mandi was under process. However, paddy worth ₹400 crore has been procured from this mandi and ₹30 crore is a meagre amount,” said a Kurukshetra mandi secretary, requesting anonymity.
Food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department additional chief secretary PK Das said he was on leave and unable to provide the information requested.
Officials of the Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board said one of the key reasons for the delay in payments was glitches between I-Form generation and approval. They say the issue was being sorted out and ₹190 crore will be disbursed among farmers and arhtiyas soon.