Says will fight against Centre’s move to end system of making payments to farmers through commission agents
By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON APR 01, 2021 03:09 PM IST
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday assured commission agents or arhtiyas of his government’s support in the wake of the Centre’s latest directive ruling out any further relaxation to the state on direct bank transfer (DBT) to farmers against payment for grain procurement.
“My doors are open for you,” the chief minister told the state’s arhtiyas during a virtual meeting, adding that his government will continue to stand with them and fight for them against the Centre’s move to end the system of making payments to farmers through them.
Arhtiyas will remain an integral part of the procurement system in Punjab, he said, while directing the department to release the pending ₹131 crore of arhtiyas, due from the state government.
Capt seeks time from PM for meeting on DBT
The chief minister said he had been seeking time from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting on the DBT issue. He said he had written to the Prime Minister on March 19, and had personally spoken to Union home minister Amit Shah, and the latter had assured of all help in the matter, Captain Amarinder told the arhtiyas. He said state food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu had also met Shah.
At the meeting, the Federation of Arhtiya Association of Punjab accused the Haryana government of betraying it by accepting the Centre’s DBT proposal. They described Haryana chief minister ML Khattar and PM Modi as two sides of the same coin.
Arhtiyas oppose linking land records with produce
Besides continuance of the existing system of payment to farmers through them, the arhtiyas are demanding clearance of all dues from the Food Corporation of India. They have opposed linking land records with farmers’ produce being brought into the mandi, pointing out that there is no provision in the Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act to allow this linkage or demand this data from the farmer. In case it is to be implemented then it will require an amendment in the rules, the arhtiyas, led by federation president Vijay Kalra, said.