- Modi government is set to revolutionize the public procurement of agricultural produces at MSP by integrating farmland records.
- The direct transfer of farmers’ paychecks is expected to revolutionize the farming setup in Punjab which had been governed by an archaic process up until now.
- The biggest lobbying group in the farmers’ protest has suddenly been rendered useless with the new system in place.
The Modi government is all set to revolutionize the public procurement of agricultural produces at MSP (Minimum Support Price) by integrating farmland records. With more than 20 states already reached Minimum Threshold Parameters (MTP) for public procurement, now the money of MSP would go only to farmers, and Arhthiyas – who benefitted from the previous despite not being directly involved in agriculture – will be weeded out of the system.
The protest against the agricultural laws was heavily backed by Arhthiyas (middlemen) who used to purchase agricultural produce from farmers at low prices and then sell it to the government at MSP. The middlemen and the capitalist farmers, who siphoned off most of the benefits of agricultural subsidies that are intended for medium and small farmers (who constitute more than 80% of total farmers), are leading the protest against farm laws because they are at losing end while the majority of the farmers benefit from this.
Arhthiyas in Punjab are opposed to land records integration because now they cannot sell grains to the government at MSP. They requested the Punjab government to stop the integration of land records but the state government showed its inability to do so because around 50 percent of the land records have been already integrated and the work is underway.
“We conveyed to everyone present in the meeting that it was not possible as the Centre has mandated all procurement states, including Punjab, to integrate land records (farads) with the procurement portal and the entire process is at an advance stage,” said Secretary (food and civil supplies) Rahul Tiwari.
“The CM has already taken the matter with the Centre seeking relaxation. But as of now, the Centre’s directions are clear that there will be no procurement if integration is not implemented. Even if we carry on with the upcoming paddy procurement without integration of land records, the Food Corporation India (FCI) will not accept rice from the state later,” he added.
With the union government’s push for direct payment to ensure that farmers get the additional 10 per cent instead of the middlemen, most of the states including Haryana – where the arhthiya system is very prevalent – have agreed to come on board, but the Punjab government refused to do the same. However, when the Union government refused to go ahead with procurement without integration of land records, it was forced to oblige.
In layman terms, the DBT scheme along with the integration of land records, ensures that farmers are paid just the right amount for their crop without a single penny going towards the arhthiyas, who are the scavenger hunters of the entire distribution chain.
The middlemen take a hefty 2.5 per cent commission on payments, hidden costs on procurement, taking the total profit of around 10 per cent just for facilitating the trade. Moreover, the arhthiyas also charge money to the farmers by fooling them in the name of the quality of grains and through various other methods.
As reported previously by TFI, with the online system, the process of payments to farmers can be hastened, and the people who sell their produce on MSP will not have to wait for months for the money.
The direct transfer of farmer’s paycheck is expected to revolutionize the farming setup in Punjab which had been governed by an archaic process, up until now. The biggest lobbying group in the farmers’ protest has suddenly been rendered useless with the new system in place.