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Why are the Agitating Farmers of Punjab Now Smiling

Rs 8,180 crore have been transferred directly into bank accounts of Punjab farmers – and it is still counting.

You may ask what is so special about that?

Well, for the first time ever, farmers in Punjab have received payments against the sale of their wheat crop directly into their bank accounts without any delay.

Good Riddance To The Saga of Middlemen

It has been elaborated in detail in our earlier coverages how there is blatant duplicity among those who claim to be pro-farmers but support the middlemen regime.

In Punjab, from where the farmer protests were predominantly concentrated was not paying the farmers directly for the procurement done by Government agencies. Commission agents, known as arhtiyas, who also double-up as local moneylenders used to be paid for procurement which they would further pass it on to farmers after extracting their pound of flesh.

This time the Centre insisted that farmers be paid through Direct Benefit Transfer and ruled out any procurement without DBT. The state administration and the commission agents eventually relented.

Reforms Replacing Archaic Rules

Haryana and Punjab have switched from indirect payment of MSP to direct online transfer of benefits to farmers’ bank account as per the directions of the GOI. This has resulted in farmers expressing joy and enjoying the benefits that have emerged from One Nation, One MSP, One DBT.

In the ongoing Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2021-22, wheat procurement is going on at brisk pace; At Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and other States, purchase of over 222.33 LMT up to 25th April 2021 has been recorded against 77.57 LMT during the corresponding period in the previous year.

Out of the total purchase of 222.33 LMT, major contribution has been made by Punjab- 84.15 LMT (37.8%), Haryana- 71.76 LMT (32.27%) and Madhya Pradesh -51.57 LMT (23.2%) – up to 25th April, 2021.

About 21.17 lakh wheat farmers have already benefitted from the ongoing RMS procurement Operations with MSP value of about Rs. 43,912 Crore.

Till April 25, 2021, about Rs 8,180 crore has been directly transferred to farmers in Punjab and about Rs 4,668 crore to those in Haryana.