Don’t bow to arhtiyas: farmer union to govt
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Don’t bow to arhtiyas: farmer union to govt

Farmer union leaders have warned the Punjab government not to succumb to pressure from commission agents (arhtiyas) on the issue of direct payments to farmers by procurement agencies.

punjab Updated: Feb 19, 2012 17:16 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times

Farmer union leaders have warned the Punjab government not to succumb to pressure from commission agents (arhtiyas) on the issue of direct payments to farmers by procurement agencies.

The Bharti Kisaan Union (Dakaunda), Punjab, has called upon various farmer unions of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh to come forward for launching a movement against commission agents. Union leaders have also urged agro-economists and intellectuals to support the farming community in this regard.

“Our union wants that the state government led by Parkash Singh Badal and the bureaucracy should ignore the memoranda being submitted by organisations of commission agents,” said Buta Singh Burajgill, state president, and Dr Darshan Pal, district president of BKU (Dakaunda).

Union leaders claimed that such a system of ‘systematic, enforced and hidden exploitation’ existed nowhere in the world, barring the states of Punjab, Haryana and UP.

“The BKU (Dakaunda) welcomes the directions of the union food minister and food secretary to state governments to strictly implement the order on paying the price of foodgrains through cheque to farmers (previously, the payment was made by agencies through commission agents),” the union leaders said.

They said commission agents, who were working as moneylenders in grain markets of Punjab, were pushing farmers to suicide.

Union leaders said they had submitted a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court, adding that it had been admitted and its next hearing was on March 12.

“Both Capt Amarinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal, as chief ministers of Punjab, have been soft towards commission agents. In 2007, when Badal came to power, Punjab farmers were under a debt of Rs 21,000 crore. By 2011, the debt had risen to Rs 38,000 crore. Of this, 40% was pocketed by commission agents. None of them is a registered moneylender. Then why are they against direct payment to farmers?” the union asked.

First Published: Feb 19, 2012 17:12 IST