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Haryana

HARYANA-‘Rice millers hand in glove with govt agencies, agents’

October 10, 2018 05:45 AM

COURTESY HT OCT 10

Neeraj Mohan neeraj.mohan@hindustantimes.com
‘Rice millers hand in glove with govt agencies, agents’
KARNAL : The nexus between rice millers, who have been given the rights of paddy procurement for government agencies, and commission agents, is allegedly forcing the farmers to sell their produce below the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

HT PHOTO
Farmers say the rice millers have distributed areas among themselves in almost all the mandis and now they were purchasing the produce at their own prices.
According to the ‘aggrieved’ farmers, the rice millers, who have been authorised to purchase parmal varieties of paddy on the MSP of ₹1,770 from farmers, have allegedly distributed areas among themselves in almost all the mandis and now they were purchasing the produce at their own prices, as no miller interferes in other’s area.

The commission agents are also helping them in the name of high moisture content, causing losses upto ₹100-₹200 per quintal, the farmers alleged.

As per information there were only 5-10 authorised purchasers in every grain market and they have divided the shops of mandis. “There was only one purchaser to purchase my produce in Ladwa grain market of Kurukshetra district and he fixed the price at ₹1,600 for my produce. Even the commission agent forced me to sell it saying that nobody else will purchase it as he was the only authorised purchaser,” alleged a farmer, Mohan Lal.

The farmers further alleged that the commission agents also illegally purchase paddy from farmers of Uttar Pradesh far below the MSP and then sell it on the MSP to these traders.

Even, the officials of the Haryana State Agriculture Marketing Board admitted that farmers did not have any option but to sell the produce to the rice miller of the choice of his commission agent.

“Though the commission agent has the right to bring another purchaser to satisfy the farmer, but in most of the cases, the commission agents avoid this to avoid clash with the purchaser,” said an official of the HSAMB.

Also, traders have distributed areas and they don’t trespass each other’s jurisdiction. The government and top officers should bring a procedure of open bidding to ensure that the farmers get better price and avoid the monopoly of rice millers,” he added.

In this regard, members of Bhartiya Kisan Union also held a protest at new grain market of Kurukshetra.

Addressing the farmers, BKU state president Gurnam Singh Chaduni alleged that the private rice millers and government procurement agencies have a nexus and they all are looting the farmers.

Talking to HT, BKU (Mann) president Ratan Mann accused the government of giving license of loot to the rice miller. He alleged that the government was also under pressure from these millers and is forced to accept their demands by withdrawing the decision of physical verification during procurement and 5% bank guarantee of the total purchase of new rice millers

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