Both groups of the Aarthi Association of Punjab have agreed to pay the farmers for their direct purchase of crops and they have agreed to purchase wheat in the Mandis. With the strict stand taken by the Union Food and Supplies Minister Piyush Goyal in the matter of paying the farmers for their crop purchases directly in their account, it was clear that no relaxation will be taken this time.
In fact, for the last decade, there was a demand of farmers and government agencies that the procurement agencies of farmers should pay their crops directly to them. Withdrawal of the huge job like payment from the stockholders amidst opposition to the three farming laws is no small change in the system made for purchasing crops in Mandis. It is also not that no step has been taken before this change. The Central Government made several attempts in the last decade, but both the Central and State Governments succumbed to the threat of the agents on the occasion of purchase. Only 25 to 30 thousand adheres of the state would have been overshadowed by the whole system. Does nobody even try to know what the farmers want?
At a time when the banking system was not up to the rural level and the farmers were also less educated then this system was fine. Farmers used to have the highest trust in their adhtiyas, but now the situation has changed. The scope of banks has increased. His work has been digitized. However, the agents are comparing this to ending the nail-flesh relationship. They are claiming that they help the farmers financially from time to time. If seen, both these arguments have no meaning in today’s era. The first thing is that there was never a nail-meat relationship between the Adhtis and the farmers. In fact, there is a relationship between the shopkeeper and the customer between the farmer and the agent. Both can maintain it if they wish. Who’s stopping them from doing so. Second, instead of providing financial help, the farmers charge from 18 to 24 percent interest. Through this farmer customer, they also run their other business.
A point in the survey conducted on the suicides of farmers by three universities of Punjab also revealed that the farmers do not get the full payment for their crops. In order to get the goods of their house and farming needs, the agent gives them the leaves, through which they go to the shops mentioned in the jobber and take the goods. They have no scope to reduce the price of goods. That is, by selling the crops of marginal farmers, 2.5 percent commission from the government, 24 percent interest with their financial assistance, and sending them to the shops of their own relatives earn a separate income from these businesses.
Now every farmer has been given a Kisan Credit Card by the banks. Their limit has not been decided on the basis of farmers’ preference, but on the basis of the value of their land. Farmers can withdraw money from their fixed limit like traders and deposit it whenever the crop arrives. When their crop earnings come directly to their account, their relation with banks will be strengthened. In all the surveys that have been conducted about the suicides of farmers, there has been talk of direct payment. The Chamber of Punjab Farmers had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this case in which the court had asked the state government to take a decision in the matter in 2013. The then Akali-BJP government found a middle ground. Said that while selling the crop, the farmers themselves decide whether to take payment from the agents or directly from the procurement agency. If the agent is to be taken then the agent will pay the check to the farmers, but due to the pressure of the agents, this system could not run much. The liability then started coming through them.
The Rabi season of 2021 has undergone a major change. The farmers will get the price of their crop in their account, but the real change will be when the land record will be taken from the farmers on the purchase portal while selling the crop. Through this, it will be known how many people in Punjab who do not do agriculture, are engaged in making their income tax-free by giving it to them on contract. Farmers who cultivate their land will not have any problem in giving land records, but many people are opposing it.