NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday mandated online e-mode payment to farmers of Punjab and Haryana from the upcoming season for procurement, ruling that no further relaxation will be entertained, as allowed since 2015-16, on the requests of the two state governments.
It also urged the farmers of the two states agitating on Delhi’s borders not to confuse this with the three farm laws under dispute. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said the scheme of direct online payment to the farmers predates the three farm laws under dispute.
The ministry said the E-mode of payment has already been adopted partially by Haryana and Punjab. In Punjab, the MSP was paid to the farmers through Arthiyas and in Haryana, the Food Corporation of India made the payment directly into the farmers' bank accounts.
This, however, requires the farmers to register themselves online as the FCI won't procure from those not registered.
The ministry said in a press note that the e-mode of payment will ensure all value chain participants, including farmers, Arhityas (brokers) and Mandis get their payments directly in their respective bank accounts, instead of getting it through another value chain participant, as was the case now in which Arhityas pay the farmers.
Reeling out the statistics of Rs 4.22 lakh food subsidy in the current financial year up to March 31, the ministry claimed Punjab farmers got Rs 1,16,653 crore, while their Haryana counterparts got Rs 24,841.56 crore.
The ministry explained that e-mode of payment is not intended to replace the current Mandi system. It only ensures payment in more transparent ways; also, the digital E mode avoids leakages.
It also clarified that the Centre has no intention to eliminate the Arthiyas in Punjab and Haryana; no directions have been issued to eliminate them from the Mandi system.