Gun licences: Farmers unimpressed
EVEN THE lure of firearm licence has failed to attract farmers to sell their wheat to government agencies, which have so far procured only 29,000 metric tonnes of wheat against the target of 27 lakh metric tonnes.india Updated: May 12, 2006 01:13 IST
EVEN THE lure of firearm licence has failed to attract farmers to sell their wheat to government agencies, which have so far procured only 29,000 metric tonnes of wheat against the target of 27 lakh metric tonnes.
It may be recalled that various district administrations are trying to woo farmers to sell their produce to the government agencies. Sitapur, Bareily and Meerut district magistrates have given an open offer to farmers to issue licence of revolver/pistol and guns on priority if they sell 100 and 200 metric tonnes of wheat to the government agencies. However, the move has so far failed to serve any purpose as farmers are now wiser and ready to hoard their produce, waiting for prices to go up in the open market. They are not selling their wheat even to private parties which have been paying Rs 150 to Rs 200 more than the minimum support price of Rs 650 per quintal.In Meerut, farmers are financially well off and presently have no dearth of money as sugarcane dues worth Rs 450 crores have recently been paid to them and they are hoarding their produce for better and higher price in future, says Meerut DM Mukesh Meshram. Hardly 10 metric tonnes of wheat has so far been procured against a target of 7000 metric tonnes in Meerut.Talking to Hindustan Times, Meshram said that number of revolvers and guns in the family was a status symbol in Meerut region and that was the reason he decided to attract the farmers by offering firearm licences.
The offer evoked a lukewarm response as the farmers were skeptical about it though a few of them did make inquiries. The DM admitted that it would be difficult to meet the target if the farmers’ reluctance to sell their produce to the government agencies continued. He, however, informed that the offer to get instant firearm licences had been extended to traders too if they sold a minimum of 500 tonnes of wheat to the government agencies.Farmers, in connivance with the local mandi employees, were duping the Government by showing less wheat on paper than actually selling, thereby evading mandi tax, informed another district magistrate.
Meanwhile, a government spokesman said so far 29,000 metric tonnes of wheat had been purchased while 3.37 lakh metric tonnes of wheat was procured last year.