Cash crunch adds to farmers’ woes awaiting paddy payment in Nabha market
Post-demonetisation, the farmers, who have not got payment for their paddy, are facing a lot of problems. The procurement of paddy started on October 8 and lasted till the middle of November. All the purchase agencies cleared the bills of up to October 20, except one, which cleared the bill of up tol October 27, as per sources. Around 17 lakh quintals of paddy worth Rs 255 crore has been purchased from the Nabha market this season. “Around half of the payment is pending,” said a commission agent. However, officials refrained from releasing the data about the pending payment.
In this scenario, farmers are being refused payments by the commission agents-cum-money lenders or they are being offered ‘invalid’ currency. The scrapped banknotes are not accepted by the traders and they are not able to purchase household material, said the farmers. “Traders are giving up credit sales and it’s becoming difficult to plead them for credit,” said a farmer. “I had to arrange a guarantee to buy some necessary furniture,” said a farmer, Darshan Singh, of Rohta village.
“The already suffering farmers are forced to bear extra interest on loans due to delay in the payments,” said Omkar Singh, a kisan union leader. “It’s difficult for us to continue studies of our wards or start construction at our homes,” said another farmer.
Plight of traders
The traders in semi-urban cities largely depend on the farmers’ income for their sales. Due to the stalled flow of money, the small traders are complaining about dip in sales but the fixed expenses continue to put pressure on them. “I have to pay rent and salary to my workers, but sales are almost nil,” said Ramesh Kumar Bansal, a trader. Traders are trying to adopt payments through banks, but they have to face other problems there.
“We started sales on cheques and also applied for card-swapping machines. Here I have two cheques for Rs 52,000, which were dishonoured. Am I supposed to spend money to receive these payments after spending years in court cases?” asks Manjit Singh, a businessman.
Asked about the delay in payment, Charanjit Singh Brar, OSD to deputy chief minister, said that there was a problem in the credit limit with the Centre which will be resolved in a week.