Ferozepur: Farmers and commission agents are being made to wait to get their pending payments cleared against wheat procurement even as government agencies prefer to look the other way. They have been crying hoarse over the issue and blamed the purchase agencies for causing harassment. According to farmers, due to the delay in payments by the purchase agencies they have to pay more interest to banks and other financers, from whom they had borrowed money with the commitment to pay in April. But the purchase agencies had failed to make their payments in this month also.
Farmer unions’ activists Hardeep Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Resham Singh said if the agencies continued to delay the payments, most farmers would not be able to manage the expenses of the next season of paddy. As they had not paid the previous borrowings, no dealer would give them fertilizers, pesticides and money required to pay to the labour. They added that if they would not be able to manage the labour in time it would affect them badly. According to sources, Markfed agency has the largest pendency of more than Rs 55 crore, Pungrain is second with pendeny of Rs 51 crore.
The FCI has to pay Rs 9 crore and Punjab Warehouse Corporation more than Rs 6 crore. Other agencies also have outstanding amounts to pay. The commission agents also lamented the delay in payments, saying that they had also borrowed money from the market on the commitment to pay back in last week of May, but they could not do so as per their commitment. Owing to this, they were paying more interest on the borrowed money. When the DFSC was asked, he claimed that all purchase agencies would make the pending payments to the commission agents and farmers very soon.
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