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Payment to farmers to continue through commission agents:

January 16, 2019 06:13 AM


Payment to farmers to continue through commission agents: GovtKARNAL : Ahead of upcoming polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Haryana has decided to continue with the old practice of releasing payments to farmers through arhtiyas (also known as commission agents).

The decision came after the chief minister held a meeting with representatives of the Haryana State Anaj Mandi Arhtiya Association (HSAMAA) in Chandigarh on Monday evening where he assured arhtiyas that ‘Meri Fasal Mera Byora’ scheme was not intended to affect their trading business and assured that payments for procurement will be made through arthiyas, the state government said in a release on Tuesday.

It, however, added that it won’t be applicable in cases where farmer opts to receive direct payment with no objection from the commission agent in matter of release of payment directly to farmers.

Following assurance from the chief minister, commission agents called off their state-wide protest on January 15. “Since the CM accepted our demands, we cancelled protests scheduled from January 15,” said HSAMAA president Ashok Gupta on Tuesday.

The move came in the wake of commission agents threatening to open a front against the government ahead of the critical Jind assembly bypoll, scheduled to be held on January 28. The decision is also in sharp contrast to directions to the state government by the Centre to pay MSP (minimum support price) directly to farmers. ‘GOVT DECISION A U-TURN’

Farmer union leaders who were in favour of direct payment to farmers have, however, termed the government decision as a U-turn.

“This U-turn was taken under pressure from the strong lobby of commission agents,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union state president Ratan Mann.

“Why should commission agents get payment of our produce? The government should make efforts to pull farmers from the grip of commission agents,” he said.

The farmer leaders said they will meet the chief minister and protest against the government’s U-turn in rallies to be held across the state in February.

In a letter to Haryana in 2016, the Union government had stated, “As per (consumer affairs and food) department’s basic principle, payment should be made directly to farmers through state agencies. This department does not favour payment to farmers through arthiyas and it will introduce non-governmental intermediation in payment of MSP to farmers which may lead to distortion”.

Three years later, however, the state government hasn’t been able to implement this system.

This year the government started Meri Fasal Mera Byora scheme under which the farmers had to get themselves registered before January 31 by providing details of their land holding, Aadhaar card, bank account, photograph and details of their commission agent to sell wheat and mustard in mandis

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