CM’s 48-hour deadline over, farmers waiting for payment of paddy
Jalandhar(Kusum Arora) – Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s promise of ensuring 48 hour deadline for lifting paddy and payment to farmers seems to have missed the date, as the farmers were not getting the payments for their crop. Paddy has started arriving in the grain market from October 1 in the region but currently the payments were being made by the Arthiyas. The farmers and labourers were getting paid minimal charges by the Arthiyas to run the show. Notably, CM Capt Amarinder Singh has announced during All India Rice Millers Association meeting that his government has got the issue of Rs 33,000 crore Cash Credit Limit (CCL) sorted out and smooth procurement of paddy would be witnessed this year. “We were yet to get payment of our crop, which we brought today afternoon. As I was in need of money for a marriage in the family, I borrowed it from an agent. But, if the CM has promised, he should ensure that the farmers are not harassed”, said a group of farmers from village Lidhran. The farmers said that they have learnt that the state government was yet to get CCL limit, which would affect their payments. “Even the CCL is released this week, it would take another week for us to get the legitimate payments of our crop. Farming is witnessing its worst crisis and the congress government should keep its promise now”, said Sukhwant Singh a farmer from Shahkot. It was estimated that 1.82 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was expected to come in the market, as compared to previous year’s target of 1.65 metric tonnes.The centre government has fixed Rs 1590 for PR variety and Rs 1550 for B grade variety, which would be lifted by the procuring agencies. Farmers and local arthiyas maintained that within this week, peak paddy lifting would begin. Punjab Arthiya Association, President Ravinder Cheema said that paddy arrival has begun and by the end of this week, it would reach at its peak. “As of now, we are making payments to the farmers from our own sources. But, if the CCL is delayed, it would lead to trouble and unrest for the farmers, as they too have to make further payments to labourers, drivers and servants”, he said.Cheema said that they too were waiting for the CCL limit, so that the farmers could be paid well on time. It is pertinent to mention here that CCL would be released to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and then to the select nationalised banks, which would take a long time for the farmers to finally get their due. However, Punjab Mandi Board, District Mandi Officer Varinder Kheda said that the paddy arrival has just begun and the payment to the farmers would be made well on time.
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