Centre releases record Rs125,218-cr towards food subsidy
26 February 2021
The centre has released a record Rs125,217.62 crore towards food subsidy this year and Rs297,196.52 crore more will be released during this financial year to benefit all farmers.
The two states of Punjab and Haryana accounted for Rs116,653.96 crore and Rs24,841.56 crore, respectively, of the of total foodgrain subsidy, an official release stated.
Payments have been made through electronic mode as it avoids leakages and is being implemented long across the country since 2015-16, the release said, adding that online releases pre-dates farm laws and is not a replacement of the current APMC system. It only strengthens the mode of payments in more transparent ways.
These steps to ensure that amount due to farmers will go directly to them, the release pointed out, adding tht the government has no intention to eliminate Arthiyas in Punjab and Haryana and no directions have been issued to eliminate Arthiyas from the mandi system.
E-mode of MSP payment is already in force across India, Govt of India has been trying to ensure the same in Punjab and Haryana at least since2015-16.
Direct online payment to farmers predates the three farm laws. In Punjab, Payment of MSP was paid to the farmers through Arthiyas and in Haryana, FCI made Payment of MSP directly to farmer’s bank accounts through online mode, whereas state agencies made payment of MSP to the farmers partly through Arthiya and partly directly to farmer’s account through online mode as per option given by the farmers in e-Kharid portal.
The centre said it has regularly been pursuing with state govternments of Punjab and Haryana for ensuring direct online payment into farmer’s accounts since 2015-16.
However, both the state governments have been routinely approaching it for granting exemption/seeking time for implementation of direct online payment initiative. GoI has therefore, directed both state governments to ensure online payment to farmers through e-mode from upcoming season and that no further relaxation on this account will be accorded.
The state agencies have to also ensure the use of expenditure advance transfer module (EAT) of Public Financial Module System (PFMS) while making payment, as Mandated by the union finance ministry.
State governments will have to integrate their online payment system with PFMS. The online payment system shall necessarily have the feature of online registration of farmers and online payment to them as mandated by GOI.
Online procurement system ushers in transparency and convenience to the farmers through proper registration and monitoring of actual procurement. All states have also been encouraged to procure the produce of the farmers online.
Through e-procuring module deployed by procurement agencies, farmers get latest/updated information regarding MSP declared, nearest purchase centre, date on which the farmer has to bring his produce to the purchase centre etc. This has not only reduced the waiting period for delivery of stock by the farmers but also enabled delivery of stock as per the their convenience in the nearest mandi.
E-mode of payment ensure all value chain participants including farmers, Arhityas, Mandis etc, get their payments directly instead of getting paid through another value chain participant (eg, Arhitya paying the farmer). This ensures transparency and benefits for all. This is not a replacement of the current APMC system