Punjab Agrees To Implement Direct Bank Transfer For Farmers From April 10
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Thursday said the state government has "no choice" but to implement the Centre's mandated instruction on direct bank transfer of MSP to farmers from the current season.
Mr Badal, after a lengthy discussion with Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal on this issue, said the Centre rejected the state government's demand to give more time to implement direct bank transfer (DBT) of minimum support price (MSP) to farmers.
The Punjab Chief Minister has called a meeting with "arthiyas" (commission agents) on Friday to discuss about a new mechanism ahead of wheat procurement that will commence from April 10.
Punjab procures wheat and rice at MSP on behalf of the central government under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Currently, MSP to farmers in Punjab is paid through arthiyas unlike directly to farmers'' bank account in other states.
"The Government of India (GoI) had asked us to implement the DBT for farmers. We had sought more time because in Punjab there is a traditional arthiyas system. ....But the GoI dismissed our demand. We tried a lot but they did not listen," Mr Badal told reporters after 2.30 hours of meeting.