In an attempt to pacify the agitating farmers, the Union Government has transferred about Rs 8,180 crore directly to the accounts of Punjab farmers, as part of the ongoing procurement exercise. Similarly an amount worth Rs 4,668 crore has also been directly transferred to the accounts of farmers of Haryana.
The Centre has taken the step to explore the possibility of breaking the ongoing deadlock between agitating farmers and representatives of the Union Government. The ongoing agitation is dominated by farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP.
Amid ongoing stir, first-time farmers of Haryana and Punjab have switched from indirect payment of minimum support price (MSP) to direct online transfer of payment to farmers' bank account by all the procuring agencies, as per the directions of the Centre.
"For the first time, farmers of Punjab have started receiving payments directly into their bank accounts against the sale of their wheat crop. About Rs 8,180 crore has already been transferred directly into Punjab farmers' account", an official statement issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said.
In the ongoing Rabi marketing season 2021-22, the Union Government is continuing to procure Rabi crops at minimum support price (MSP) from farmers as per the existing price support scheme.
Govt directly transfers money to over 21 lakh wheat farmers
About 21.17 lakh wheat farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing Rabi marketing scheme procurement operations with MSP value of about Rs. 43,912 Crore. Up to April 25, 2021, about Rs 8,180 crore in Punjab and about Rs 4,668 crore in Haryana has been transferred directly into farmers' accounts.
Brisk wheat procurement
As per data shared by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, wheat procurement is going on a brisk pace in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and other states with purchase of over 222.33 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) up to April 25 against 77.57 LMT during the corresponding period of 2020.
Out of the total purchase of 222.33 LMT of wheat, the major contribution has been made by Punjab is 84.15 LMT (37.8%), Haryana- 71.76 LMT (32.27%), and Madhya Pradesh -51.57 LMT (23.2%) of total procurement up to April 25, 2021, said the statement.
Centre-farmers last meeting ended in a deadlock
The last meeting of the Union Government's representatives with the agitation farmers ended in a deadlock as both sides stood to their stand. The last meeting was held on January 23. After violence at Red Fort during Tractor Rally on January 26, no formal meeting between government's representatives and agitation farmers has been held so far.
Farmers' Unions have repeatedly made it clear that three farm laws should be repealed at any cost. The government, on the other hand, has offered to put these laws on hold. As of now, 11 rounds of talks between the government and farmers were held but the deadlock still persists.