September 27, 2016 5:06:22 am
With the Centre set to introduce facility of e-procurement across Haryana on Tuesday, farmer organisations and political parties contend that the state lacks adequate facilities for the scheme to proceed smoothly.
The programme will commence on October 1 with paddy and other crops set to be sold online through the portal. Through this, farmers can sell their goods to any trader anywhere in the country, including the government at the minimum support price (MSP). All payments will be made to bank accounts.
“The system has its pros and cons. Farmers who are more aware will be assured that their crop is not sold below the minimum support price which has happened in the past. One of the problems is that the payment will be made directly to the farmers. Some of them have taken loans from arhtiyas. They may not return it. This could spoil relations between the arhtiyas and farmers in the long run,” said Gurnam Singh Chaduni, president of the Haryana unit of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).
With many farmers not having the facilities or the know how to apply online, they will still require middlemen to help sell their produce. Accordingly, commission agents or arhtiyas too will be connected through the government’s server. Farmers who bring the produce to the mandis can get registered through the arhtiyas. The name of the farmer, aadhaar card number and details of the quality of the crop will be uploaded on a website. However, arhtiyas claimed that the process will impact them adversely.
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Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar said arhtiyas and traders do not have adequate infrastructure for e-procurement process. “It is expected that there will be a bumper crop of paddy this year. Adequate facilities for e-procurement are not available in the mandis. This will impact the farmers adversely. The government should take care that like last year the farmers are not paid less for their crops,” he said.
Paddy has already begun to arrive at the various markets in the state. Many farmers have been forced to sell their produce at prices lower than the MSP as they do not have adequate storage facilities.
Another farmer Sewa Singh Arya said it was not clear who will give gunny bags for the crop and who will lift the produce in case of e-procurement. He said farmers feared that the banks may keep the money as payment for their loans.
Haryana Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Karan Dev Kamboj meanwhile said the system will bring more transparency in the system and check evasion of market fees.
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