The Centre has asked Punjab and Haryana to ensure online payment to farmers through the electronic mode from the coming procurement season and stated that “no further relaxation on this account will be accorded”.
Both the state governments have been seeking time for the implementation of the direct online payment initiative.
“The government is regularly pursuing with state governments of Punjab and Haryana for ensuring direct online payment into farmers’ accounts since 2015-16. However, both the state governments have been routinely approaching the Centre for granting exemption/seeking time for implementation of direct online payment initiative,” said the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs.
“The Centre has, therefore, directed the State Governments of Punjab and Haryana to ensure online payment to farmers through e-mode from the upcoming season and that no further relaxation on this account will be accorded,” said the Ministry.
The e-mode of payment will ensure that all value chain participants, including farmers, arhityas, mandis, etc, get their payments directly instead of getting paid through another value chain participant like arhitya paying the farmer. This ensures transparency and benefits all. This is not a replacement of the current APMC system, it said.
According to officials, “In Punjab, MSP was paid to the farmers through arthiyas, and in Haryana, FCI made the payment directly to farmer’s bank account through online mode, whereas state agencies made payment of MSP to the farmers partly through arthiya and partly directly to farmer’s account through online mode as per the option given by the farmers in the e-Kharid portal.”
“Digital mode of financial benefit transfers or payments by government agencies to beneficiaries has been highly successful and appreciated tool of transparency which has been instrumental in eliminating leakages in delivery of benefits. E-mode of payment has already been adopted partially by Haryana and Punjab. For example, a part of the payment for this paddy procurement was done through e-mode,” it said