With wheat harvesting in full swing in Punjab and Haryana, farmers, for the first time, have started receiving minimum support price (MSP) payment directly in their bank accounts under the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme (DBT).
The government data shows ₹5,385 crore has been transferred so far in the ongoing procurement season by the Central and State procurement agencies to farmers against purchase of their crops in both the States.
In Punjab, ₹2,600 crore has been paid to accounts of farmers till April 20 under the scheme. In Haryana, ₹2,785 crore have been transferred directly to the accounts of farmers.
Punjab Food Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said “under the DBT scheme payments more than ₹2,600 crore has been paid to the accounts of farmers till April 20”.
He said 54 lakh tonnes of wheat have arrived in ‘mandis’ till April 20, out of which 50 lakh tonnes have been procured and more than 20 lakh tonnes lifted by various government agencies. “In Punjab, both the farmers and the arhtiyas [commission agents] are happy over the wheat procurement.”
Amid the ongoing procurement and payments under the DBT, several farmers in Ludhiana district have expressed contentment over the new mechanism. Harinderpal Singh, who had sold his wheat crop in Machhiwara grain market on April 12, said he was happy as ₹1,95,525 was deposited directly into his bank account without any problem. Expressing similar sentiments, another farmer Sukhjit Singh of village Todarpur said ₹2,31,667 was deposited directly into his bank account promptly.
Praptej Singh, a farmer from Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, said he had sold his wheat on April 13 at the grain market in Chandigarh’s sector 39, and he received payment within five days. “The new [DBT] system is effective. I received timely payment without any follow-up with anyone.”
In Haryana, ₹2,785 crore has been transferred directly to the accounts of farmers till April 20, according to an official statement.
The Haryana government on Wednesday procured 3.11 lakh tonnes through various procurement agencies on the MSP.
Of the 64.77 lakh tonnes of wheat that arrived at procurement centres till April 20, 55.62 lakh tonnes have been procured.