State News

Punjab cm strongly opposes DBT for farmers, writes to pm for directions to defer scheme by at least 1 year

24 March 2021, Chandigarh: Strongly opposing the Direct Bank Transfer scheme for farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking early resolution of the matter in view of the upcoming Rabi season.

The Chief Minister, who has also sought time from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting on the issue, sought his personal indulgence to issue appropriate directions to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India to defer the implementation of the scheme for at least one year.

The ahrtiyas and farmers have long-standing relations, he pointed out, questioning the need to change the system when it was working very well. Around 50% farmers give their land on contract, so how will those who till the land get their money under DBT, the Chief Minister said at a media event.

In his letter, Captain Amarinder drew the Prime Minister’s attention to the Ministry’s directions, asking the Government of Punjab to ensure direct payment to farmers along with online submission of the details of land owners/ cultivators. Pointing to the age old relationship that Punjab has between the Commission Agents. i.e.. Arhtiyas, who are licensees under the Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act 1961 and farmers, he noted that for the past many decades, the State Procurement Agencies and FCI have been procuring foodgrains for the Central Pool.

The farmers have never complained of non-receipt of payment of MSP, and the State Government is ensuring online payment to farmers, albeit through these Arhtiyas, he added. Further, said the Chief Minister, the land ownership and tenancy issues may give rise to various avoidable legal complications, especially during the ongoing farmers’ agitation. This, he said, “may also cause avoidable unrest and anguish among the farmers.” He further noted that bringing the software in line with the proposed directions shall take considerable time.