Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 18
Showing an increasing acceptance for the direct benefit transfer (DBT) of payment for the wheat crop this season, more than 10,000 farmers’ names figure on the Punjab Government’s list of those who have switched over to the e-payment system.
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Confirming the numbers, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Bharat Bhushan Ashu said: “More than Rs 100 crore has already been credited to the accounts of farmers. Payment of more than Rs 300 crore was cleared today. This will be credited to the accounts of beneficiary farmers by tomorrow morning.”
The state has more than 11 lakh farmers so the final results might show later. However, there is no denying the fact that the system has been accepted. Harvest is being done in a staggered manner all over the state, so numbers will add up gradually. Unlike Malwa, which is witnessing a bulk of crop harvest these days, Majha and Doaba areas are yet to join the crop rush in the mandis.
Farmer Harnek Singh from Moga said: “I think arhtiyas need not be scared about the change in the procurement process. Their work profile, too, can evolve according to the new situation. The new system has made payment easier and faster. Earlier, it took more than a week.”
Farmer Dasonda Singh from Bathinda district, who received the direct payment recently, said: “We are only used to the old system of operating through arhtiyas. We got the direct payment this year and sure we will understand the new process also.”
Maninder Singh Gurm from Jhabewal village in Ludhiana district said: “The direct payment system won’t impact the farmer-arhtiya relations. This does not mean a farmer cannot borrow money from arhtiya now. The change will need some time for acceptance.”
Farmer Harpreet Singh from Sardulgarh in Mansa district said: “I got Rs 12.64 lakh as DBT this year. Our arhtiya helped us with the procedural work, including getting our bills cleared from the market committee. If we have no option, we will find ways to adjust.”
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