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11,000 Bajra Farmers not Paid by Haryana Govt for 2 Weeks

The state government had claimed that payment would be made within 72 hours of procurement.
11,000 Bajra Farmers not Paid by Haryana Govt for 2 Weeks

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Around 11,000 bajra farmers in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Rewari and Mahendragarh districts of Haryana have not been paid by the government even after two weeks since the state government claimed that payment would be made within 72 hours of procurement.

Farmers have been making rounds of grain markets to get payment but officials are unable to provide clarity.

According to The Tribune, more than 11,000 farmers in the four districts sold their bajra to Haryana State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (HAFED) for Rs 1,900-Rs 1,950 per quintal though the Centre had announced Rs 2,350 per as the minimum support price (MSP).

To bridge the gap between the MSP and the buying rate, the state government announced to pay Rs 450 per quintal to farmers under the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana (BBY). The procurement of bajra, which started on October 1, was stopped one week ago after the state government announced BBY.

“I sold bajra to HAFED at the beginning of procurement but I am yet to get payment. The money is needed not only to repay the loan but also to buy seeds and fertilisers for the next crops,” said Ravinder Kumar, of Aurangapur village (Jhajjar).

Barhmanand, of Nigana village (Rohtak), said that more than 35 quintals of bajra were sold more than two weeks ago but the payment had not yet been credited to his bank account. “The situation is similar with other farmers of my village. We have no option but to wait for the payment,” he added.

Inderjit Singh, state vice-president, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said that the state government made hollow promises of releasing payment within 48 hours. “It should release payments without further delay. Otherwise, we will launch an agitation.”

Anoop Nain, district manager of HAFED at Rohtak and Jhajjar, said that bills regarding payment had been sent to the state authorities and farmers will be paid soon. Bajra crop of more than 5,000 farmers in Rohtak and Jhajjar had been procured by HAFED this season, he added.

HAFED chief general manager RP Sahni, meanwhile, said payment is being credited to the bank accounts of farmers.

Farmers are angry with the state government for stopping the procurement. They are forced to sell bajra to private buyers for Rs 1,700-1,800 per quintal.

“The purpose of the Bhavantar Bharpai scheme was to ensure that the farmers get the MSP for their produce. But the purpose has been defeated as they are not getting the MSP even after adding the amount of Rs 450 per quintal,” Balbir Singh, president, Kisan Sabha, Haryana, told The Tribune.

Kisan Sabha general secretary Sumit Singh said that the produce of even those farmers who had got the gate passes is not being procured by government purchase agencies.

The Sabha has demanded that the procurement should resume and the farmers should get the MSP.

Nain claimed that procurement was stopped as per directions of the state authorities.

Devender Dhull, secretary, Market Committee, Rohtak, admitted that the procurement has been stopped but claimed that farmers are being paid Rs 450 per quintal under BBY. 

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