Punjab to involve Arhtiyas in Direct Payments to Farmers
The Punjab State Government recently told the Union Government that it will pay the Minimum Support Price directly into the accounts of farmers starting this procurement season. However, the Arhtiyas in the state have been opposing to the direct payment. Arhtiyas are Commission Agents in the state. They used to pay the farmers earlier in Punjab. To solve the issue, Punjab has now amended the procurement software to include Arhtiyas in the direct payment process as well.
Arhtiyas and farmers in the state have strong and age-old trust in the state of Punjab. However, according to the Government, several Arhtiyas are looting the money and the allocated funds do not reach the farmers.
How will Arhtiyas be involved in Direct Payment System?
The State of Punjab has around 28,000 registered Arhtiyas. Each of them has twenty to two hundred farmers associated with them. Earlier, the Minimum Support Price payments to the farmers used to come in accounts of Arhtiyas. They will then pay the farmers. Now, the amount will directly come in the accounts of the farmers. However, this will happen after the Arhtiyas click the pay now button. They will have to do so within 48 hours of receiving the MSP. If they fail to transfer the amount within 48 hours, the amount will directly get credited to the farmers in 72 hours.
The Arhtiyas provide various services in Punjab mandis. This includes unloading to cleaning, filling, weighing, and loading the crop to government godowns. The Government pays 2.5% commission to them for these works.
What changes have been made?
The Punjab Government has modified the Anaaj Kharid Portal. The Arhtiyas will get a message on the portal. The message will provide the name of the farmer linked with him whose amount is ready to transfer. The respective Arhtiya has to click on Pay Now to transfer the money.