A delegation of ministers from Punjab met union meals minister Piyush Goyal, who turned down their demand saying that the centre can pay on to farmers and never by means of arhtiyas.
“We’ve got no possibility now. However we’ll discover some mechanism to guard the curiosity of arhtiyas as they’re integral a part of procurement train,” mentioned Punjab’s meals and civil provides minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu after the assembly with Piyush Goyal.
He mentioned that the chief minister Amarinder Singh is worried concerning the problem and had known as a gathering with arhtiyas on Friday to debate choices.
The centre, nonetheless has agreed to present Punjab an extension of six months for linking land report to the nationwide e-procurement portal.
The procurement of wheat is scheduled to start out from Saturday in Punjab, which is probably going to purchase 13 million tonnes of wheat from farmers for the central pool. Final yr, Punjab had contributed comparable amount of wheat.
Beneath the prevailing system, farmers in Punjab unload their produce at a market yard licensed to an agent (arhtiya) by the native mandi committee. The arhtiya will get the grain cleaned, organises auctions, packs the produce into 50-kg luggage and dispatches them to the patrons. The arhtiya then receives cash on behalf of the farmer, who will get cash from the arhtiya after deduction of fee in opposition to the providers.
“In Punjab, arhtiyas are a giant power. There are 50,000 registered arhtiyas in Punjab who’re actively concerned within the procurement of 13 million tonnes of wheat and 12 million tonnes of rice yearly. Since they (arhtiyas) lend cash to farmers, they’ve good management over them (farmers),” mentioned a Punjab authorities official.
The procurement of wheat is scheduled to start out from Saturday throughout 3,972 grain markets by means of 156 market committees.
Vijay Kalra, president of the Federation of Arhtiyas Affiliation of Punjab, mentioned the state authorities can’t play with the livelihood of the brokers. “If the federal government does that, we’ll hit the streets and stage dharnas (sit-ins). It’s a query of livelihood for lakhs of individuals engaged on this commerce – be it the farmers, arhtiyas or labourers. We’ll strongly oppose this,” he mentioned.
Kalra mentioned the federal government tried to abolish this age-old system again in 2009, too. “Then additionally, the farmers themselves got here ahead and mentioned that they’ll’t survive with out arhtiyas. The federal government needed to roll again the transfer,” he mentioned.