Haryana to make direct payments of MSP to farmers from April 1
From the coming rabi harvesting season beginning from April 1, the Haryana government is going to implement 100% direct payment to farmers for all crops procured on the minimum support price (MSP) replacing the age-old method of paying farmers via ahrtiyas
From the coming rabi harvesting season beginning from April 1, the Haryana government is going to implement 100% direct payment to farmers for all crops procured on the minimum support price (MSP) replacing the age-old method of paying farmers via ahrtiyas.
Amid pressure from Centre, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday made it clear that the state government has decided to ensure 100% online transfer of payments directly into the accounts of farmers.
Centre is trying to implement direct payment since 2012 and even direct directions in this regard were issued in 2016, but the state government had failed to implement the plan following protests by ahrtiyas.
Ready for 100% direct payment
Officials from the Haryana foods and civil supplies department said that they are ready for 100% direct payment to farmers as they have completed all formalities, and registration on ‘Meri Fasal, Mera Byora’ portal are on.
“In the last Kharif harvesting season, around 50% payments were paid directly in accounts of farmers and from this year the payment will be disbursed with 48-hours of the procurement and submitting of the J-Form,” said Anurag Rastogi, additional chief secretary, Haryana food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department.
Biggest reform for mandi system
As per agriculture experts, if implemented successfully, the move will be the biggest ever reform in the mandi system of Haryana as it will not only give more financial powers to farmers but will also help put check on bogus procurements for which government had to pay crores every harvesting season.
“This decision will shift the financial powers from ahrtiyas to farmers. Currently, ahrtiyas get payment of produce of their farmers and they pay farmers as per their convenience. But once direct payment is implemented, they will depend on farmers to clear their dues,” said commission agent Parveen Kumar, of Nilokheri grain market.
As per the mandi officials, e-trading and direct payment will put a check on illegal trade in the mandis as farmers will have to give all their details and a copy of their land ownership to get a gate pass to sell their produce.
To create rift between farmers, ahrtias
The decision also assumes significance amid ongoing protests by farmers against Centre’s three farm laws as the decision will help government ‘create a division between farmers and ahrtiyas’.
Since most farmers unions in state are in favour of direct payment and ahrtiyas are opposing it, the move will curtail the latter’s financial powers and will have to depend on farmers to clear their dues.
Even officials in the Haryana Agriculture Marketing Board said that over 90% registered farmers have adopted option of direct payment.
“Getting direct payment of their produce is right of every farmer. Why are commission agents demanding payment of farmers’ produce into their account? Ahrtiyas do not have any right on payment of our produce and they have already taken cheques from farmers for their dues,” said Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union president Ratan Mann, adding that this move will also bring transparency as the commission agents will not be able to provide fake J-Forms to tax evaders.
Ahrtiyas to oppose move
Within Haryana, ahrtiyas have threatened to boycott upcoming wheat harvest season if the state government implements the shift.
“We have already held a state-level meeting in Kurukshetra in this regard. Most commission agents are against direct payment to famers. We have decided to take up the issue with the government,” said Ashok Gupta, president of Haryana Ahrtiyas Association.
“But if the government fails to consider our demands, we will decide further course of action,” he added.