Ujjain: Cashless transaction still remains a serious issue for farmers, as payment by cheque has become an unofficial decree at Chimanganj Krishi Upaj Mandi. Taking advantage of the move, traders are paying farmers by cheque for the amount as small as Rs 950.

Despite government of India aggressively promoting ‘digital transactions,’ traders at mandi are reluctant to install swipe machines at their shops or using any other mode of digital transaction owing to their illiteracy in the electronic mode and long-term dependence on cash. With little cash in hand and digital illiteracy, farmers are indeed facing a tough time to make the end meets.

While mandi authorities talk about enabling features like Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), most of the farmers have no idea about these features. They still deposit the cheque in their village branch of the bank, which takes more than 15 days to get realised in their accounts.

Most of the farmers have account in village branch of a bank. If they open a bank account in any of the banks in Ujjain, it will only take two days for the cheque to be cleared. Krishi Upaj Mandi Committee president Bahadur Singh Bormundla when asked about the situation said that a comprehensive plan is under discussion with authority to make the digital cash transaction accessible at the mandi.

Krishi Upaj Mandi sees a transaction of Rs 5 crore per day as about 2500 farmers daily come to sell their produce from around 380 villages from Ujjain district. Given the high rate of transaction, mandi authority needs to put up a well developed plan as soon as possible to educate farmers about various features offered by the bank enabling the cash transfer to the bank account of the famers directly. Not a single ATM could be found on the mandi premises where transaction of Rs 5 crore takes place on the daily basis.

Low soybean price for farmers

With cash shortage already hitting farmers hard, their soybean produce is getting price much lower than the cost price. The reason being,there is a steep decline in the demand of soybean produced by the local farmers. Many oil producing units have closed down recently which has resulted in the decline of demand. Government of India has cut down the import duty of crude and refined edible oils to 12.5 and 20,percent respectively. This has resulted in the untamed imports of the oils, which lead the seeds produced by the farmers sold out at a very low price.

One month over, cheque not cleared

Munnalal, a farmer from Barnagar, is still waiting for his cheque to get cleared. He said, “It’s been more than one month since I deposited the cheque in the bank but wait doesn’t over’’. With Rs 95,000 still due, it has become more and more difficult to manage the daily requirements of the family, he informed about his plight while talking to The Free Press Journal.

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