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Scheme against scammers: Now, Aadhaar mandatory for agricultural sales in Maharashtra

The state has learned from the tur scam, and decided this to ensure farmers get minimum support price for produce

mumbai Updated: Sep 29, 2017 10:34 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Aadhaar card,Maharashtra
The state had procured as much as 25 lakh quintal tur by paying more than Rs1,200 crore at Rs5,050 a quintal as minimum support price (MSP) earlier this year.(HT FILE)

After the alleged irregularities in the sale of tur (pigeon pea), the state government has decided that all farmers will have to mandatorily link their Aadhaar to their online applications to sell their agricultural produce at procurement centres. This decision will be implemented immediately as green and black gram (moong and urad dal) and cotton will be available next week.

The government has also decided to check the real-time production of gram by farmers to ensure traders don’t seel the produce in the name of farmers.

The state had procured as much as 25 lakh quintal tur by paying more than Rs1,200 crore at Rs5,050 a quintal as minimum support price (MSP) earlier this year. It was later revealed that many traders had bought the stock from farmers at much cheaper rates than the MSP. The government has registered criminal cases against them.

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This experience made the state make the process more transparent. In a meeting on Sunday, the state decided that payment of the procured produce will be credited in farmers’ bank accounts within three days. Also, mobile applications may be launched to make the procurement process easy.

“Instead of investigating the cases of misappropriation for the recovery of losses later, it is always better to take precautions to avoid them. By making Aadhaar linkage mandatory, we will ensure that the benefits go to eligible farmers. The records of famers’ landholdings will help us establish the maximum production of grams by any farmer. We are also planning to make the payment within 3 days of procurement so that farmers are not motivated to sell the produce to the traders for quick money,” Bijay Kumar, principal secretary, agriculture department, told HT.

The state expects the production of green and black gram to be about 5 lakh quintal in the ongoing kharif season. The MSP for green gram is Rs5,575 a quintal and for black gram is Rs5,400 a quintal against the market price of Rs4,400 a quintal. As many as 85 procurement centres will be opened in 17 districts.

“Weeding out the unscrupulous elements is a welcome step, but state government should try to keep the market rate of the purchase in check by restricting the import of the pulses from other countries,” said Vijay Jawandhia, a farm activist from Vidarbha.

First Published: Sep 29, 2017 09:37 IST