Sunday, May 26, 2019
Follow us on
BREAKING NEWS
हरियाणा मन्त्रिमण्डल की बैठक जून के प्रथम सप्ताह में होने की संभावना,बैठक में कुछ महत्वपूर्ण फैसले ले सकती है खट्टर सरकारकल वाराणसी जाएंगे नरेंद्र मोदी, विश्वनाथ मंदिर जाकर भगवान भोले का लेंगे आशीर्वादजगनमोहन रेड्डी आज आएंगे दिल्ली, 11 बजे पीएम मोदी से करेंगे मुलाकात29 मई को ओडिशा में सीएम पद की शपथ लेंगे नवीन पटनायकJ-K: नौशेरा सेक्टर में पाकिस्तान की ओर से फायरिंग, 1 नागरिक घायलआम आदमी पार्टी चुनावी नतीजों पर आज करेगी मंथन, सीएम केजरीवाल ने बुलाई बैठकदिल्ली: छत्तीसगढ़ के सीएम रमन सिंह ने नितिन गडकरी से की मुलाकातसऊदी अरब के क्राउन प्रिंस ने प्रधानमंत्री मोदी को दी जीत की बधाई
Punjab

ARHTIYAS ARE NO CHANGE AGENTS Despite Push From The Union Govt, They Persist In Rural Punjab

March 02, 2019 05:37 AM

COURTESY TIMES OF INDIA MARCH 2

LEARNING WITH THE TIMES
ARHTIYAS ARE NO CHANGE AGENTS
Despite Push From The Union Govt, They Persist In Rural Punjab
To ensure online payment to farmers to plug deficiencies in procurement process, the Centre has once again asked the Punjab government to do away with the arhtiya (commission agent) system and ensure direct payment to farmers for crops procured under the minimum support price (MSP). The Union minister for food has once again reminded the chief minister of their discussion last year for relief to growers, and pointed out that arhtiyas remain in business in Punjab, and farmers at their mercy

WHO ARE ARHTIYAS


Arhtiyas, or commission agents, are a crucial link between farmers and buyers as they arrange for the auction and delivery of produce (to the buyers). As they also lend money to famers, they have come to be known as the automated teller machine (ATM) of farmers. They are also considered highly influential, as do not only wield great control over farmers but are also politically powerful as they provide money to politicians during elections

FOR GOOD, AND BAD

Given their dealings, it is no surprise that arhtiyas and farmers share strong lovehate bond. While farmers accuse arhtiyas of charging high interest rate from them, they do not treat them as cast-offs when in need of loan. It is not surprising that even arhtiyas have slammed the Centre for prodding Punjab cut their (arhtiyas) role in procurement and make direct payment to farmers

Text by Neel Kamal

WHAT ARHTIYAS DO, THAT BANKS DON’T

1 Mediate sale of produce between the cultivator and food procurement agency

2 Arhtiya is a moneylender as well as input supplier for the cultivators

3 Dependence of the cultivators on arhtiyas is the main cause of his persistence in rural areas of Punjab

4 There are nearly 47,000 arhtiyas in Punjab who meet the needs of around 15 lakh farmers

5 For their services rendered, arhtiyas claim 2.5% commission for auction and delivery of goods and 18% to 24% interest rate for money given on loan to farmers

THE ATMs FOR FARMERS

The arhtiyas have termed the Union government’s decision as not only anti-commission agent but also anti-farmer and decided to oppose it tooth and nail. The president of Federation of Arhtiyas Association, Punjab, Vijay Kalra said, “We are like ATMs for farmers because they come to us as and when they need money. Also, we fulfill their needs even after banking hours. It is because of us (arhtiyas) that nearly 130 lakh MT wheat is sent to godown in 20 days and nearly 160 lakh MT paddy is stored in rice mills in a month. All this would not be possible at all without our involvement.”

EARLIER PLANS SHELVED

In 2009, the Centre had decided to put in place ‘direct payment to farmers from buyer’ plan. The plan was shelved in the face of opposition from arhtiyas, said Kalra. “In 2013, the Punjab and Haryana high court in one of its orders gave farmers the option of either of direct payments or through arhityas. They preferred the arhtiya route,” he added

 
Have something to say? Post your comment