Ujjain: Multi-layer administrative mechanism and lack of funds have put a question mark on the success of procurement of agriculture produces on minimum support price (MSP) and balancing the profit aspects of farmers through Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY).
Ujjain district can be cited as such an instance, as a number of farmers who sold their ‘chana’ (gram) produce to the government on MSP had been deprived of payments for last three months. As per rule, they should have been paid Rs 4250 as MSP along with Rs 150 as bonus announced by the Union government and Rs 100 announced by the State government under BBY on the procurement of one quintal gram. Time limit of one week was fixed to make the full payment of Rs 4500 per quintal.
As not a penny has been reportedly paid against the procurement of gram to hundreds of farmers across the district, the farmers’ community was not only peeved over the attitude of concerned agencies but was also finding it difficult to sow soyabean. Most of the poor farmers have to borrow money on five percent interest from moneylenders and as the district has received low rainfall this year so far they have got tensed. They were facing hardships to purchase seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc, in time in wake of non-payment of due amount.
When Free Press approached one such farmer Bhagwan Singh Nagji (52), resident of Pipliya Harji under Jawasiya Solanki gram panchayat of the Mehidpur tehsil, he looked in complete disarray. According to him, he sold 7.5 quintal gram at Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit Mahidpur on June 8, but was yet not paid Rs 33, 000 along with money due under BBY. He informed that he contacted the society many times, but to no avail. Moreover, he also filed a complaint on phone number 181 under the CM Helpline, but got frustration from there as well.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that taking benefit of multilayer system, the officials concerned created hurdles so that they can earn money for them. Now they are making contradictory statements. On being contacted, core procurement agency MARKFED’s district manager Rakesh Hedau said that they have already released Rs 294 and 11 crore in two installments to the District Central Cooperative Bank (DCCB) for the favour of payments to the farmers against procurement of gram. DCCB CEO SK Khare clarified that neither the society which procured gram nor the bank are responsible for the delay in payments.
He, however, said that certain procedural delays were noticed after procurement and as the DCCB now received due amount they would soon transfer it in the accounts of farmers. Likewise, deputy-director, agriculture, CL Kevda said that paucity of funds has led to delay in payment of Rs 100 per quintal against the procurement of gram under BBY across the State.